By Mr Jonathon Gray (USAREUR)October 21, 2011
WILDFLECKEN, Germany (Oct. 19, 2011) -- Disasters can happen at any moment. When lives are in danger, military forces need to be able to quickly coordinate efforts to help people. One unit in 5th Signal Command was given a great opportunity to train with the German Army to prepare for quick reactionary force operations with the host nation.
5th Signal's 72nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, headquartered in Schweinfurt, conducted a two-day field exercise with the German Army Air Mobile Division (DLO) and the DLO Signal Battalion using a real-world scenario to train.
Named Exercise Express 11, the scenario is that a river begins to flood a village. The Germans request help from U.S. forces to provide heavy machinery to rebuild broken levees and banks and provide emergency and disaster relief.
The German Army established a disaster relief command post in the town of Wildflecken. The German unit paired with the 72nd ESB to set up and leverage communications for the command post.
"Our purpose here is to bridge communications with the U.S. heavy machinery groups and German support forces. We're working together to better understand each other's signal equipment," said Pfc. Jonathan Amoros, 72nd ESB.
72nd ESB would act as the communications liaison between the German and U.S. units.
"With different kinds of equipment working together, finding a solution is a nice challenge," said German Army Master Sgt. Nico Bode, DLO Signal Battalion.
The established command post would be responsible for coordinating the disaster relief in this situation. They would also establish a supply line to help the local population with drinking water, food, shelter and fuel.
"This exercise was a great experience which allowed German and American Soldiers to train together as partners so when a real situation happens, we're ready," said Amoros.