GRAFENWOEHR, Germany Aca,!" Collaboration between European nations and government organizations enhances diplomacy say officials participating in Combined Endeavor 2010, U.S. European CommandAca,!a,,cs largest military communications exercise, hosted in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

"The goal of the exercise is to get a basic understanding of how people and technology can work together,Aca,!A? said Henrik Segar, control center deputy director of the Sweden Coalition Joint Command. Aca,!A"It is really the fundamental thing, technology will change, but if you don't learn how to work together on issues, then you are not able to step up to the next level.Aca,!A?

The 16th annual Combined Endeavor consists of more than 40 countries and organizations. Countries range from North America, the Balkans and the Middle East. Organizations such as the U.S. State Department and NATO also provided personnel to support the event.

"Improvements in communication and computer network capabilities will not only enhance the readiness of our forces to provide regional stability, they will also enable more efficient cooperation among partners across a broad range of activities, including natural disaster response, trade and investment expansion, and educational opportunities among our nations and citizens,Aca,!A? said U.S. European Command Civilian Deputy, U.S. Ambassador Katherine Canavan.

This year's theme, "Diplomacy through Technology" reflects the wide-ranging benefits of Combined Endeavor, said Canavan.

For example, representatives from Iraq and Afghanistan observed the Combined Endeavor exercise to build a prototype event in their region as they move to the nation-building stage of operations and away from military operations.

Aca,!A"The Civilian Response Corps supports U.S. embassies to help host countries address reconstruction and stabilization issues,Aca,!A? said Bill Rydell of the U.S. Department of StateAca,!a,,cs Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS), which oversees the Corps. Aca,!A"We bring in subject matter experts, such as rule-of-law experts from the Department of Justice and trade development experts from the Department of Commerce, to help failing states improve governance. Many of these issues must be addressed by the civilian side of operations. This is where S/CRS and the Civilian Response Corps come in and work with the military.Aca,!A?

Also participating for the fifth year was staff and students of Norwich University from North Field, Vermont.

"Participation in Combined Endeavor gives us the opportunity to serve the global community in an effort to streamline communications, and share our cybersecurity expertise for the sake of a coordinated response to nations in need," said Dr. Peter Stephenson, Director of the Norwich University Advanced Computing Center.

This yearAca,!a,,cs exercise hosted by the Joint Multinational Training Command in Grafenwoehr, Germany, brought representatives from the United States and the following countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Aca,!A"Because of the capacity Grafenwoehr has both in facilities and network capabilities Grafenwoehr became the main operating site,Aca,!A? said Capt. Petero Lole, JMSCAca,!a,,cs lead planner. Aca,!A"A forward-site is located in Romania. There are a few networks connecting Romania [Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase] to Grafenwoehr.Aca,!A?

Lole says, the savings are significant for participating nations. The countries did not have to spend funds on transportation costs associated with bringing those goods or providing contract staff to support the exercise.

Aca,!A"We have an existing facility here for participants to fall inside, instead of countries having to travel and stand-up a facility to support the exercise,Aca,!A" said Lole. Aca,!A"If you look around this room all these computers, tables, chairs and projectors, most countries didnAca,!a,,ct have to bring those things here.Aca,!A?

The Combined Endeavor exercise was established in 1995. Since then, the exercise has grown from just 10 nations to include more than 50 during the past 15 years. The scope of the training has adapted to include current and relevant topics, such as, resolving cybersecurity issues, multinational tactics, techniques, and procedures. There is now a Pacific Endeavor and planning underway for an endeavor exercise in the Middle East. The exercise continues to grow each year.