HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Chaplains from around U.S. Army Europe gathered this week for the Chaplaincy Annual Sustainment Training-Europe, a week-long event designed to conduct professional development training and provide relevant and ready ministry teams in support of future pastoral operations.

"CAST-E is a chance for all chaplain personnel to come together and receive the latest training in what is happening as a branch, what current trends are and where we are going in the future," said Maj. Kevin Scott Forrester, brigade chaplain for 172D Separate Infantry Brigade. "It is also a place to pull together as various organizations and hear from senior chaplains on what is happening within their various organizations."

Bringing chaplains together from all over Europe also serves to identify how support here can differ from support provided in the states.

"Europe is a unique environment where people are away from home and the connectivity of those relationships, so we need to care for those who serve and also care for our chaplains and their assistants by providing them with the most up to date training and Army policies, as we are doing here," said Maj. Lane Creamer, USAREUR operations and Contingency Command Post chaplain. "We have breakout sessions that allow senior chaplains and senior enlisted advisors to talk to their groups about the unique ministry that we find here in Europe, so each section has the ability to share from top level down."

Organizers of the event hope participants are able take what they have gained here to better support units and commanders.

"The things that we want everyone to take away from this training are one, the Soldier focus, we want to continue to remind why we are here and of course the chaplains and chaplain's assistants know it's the Soldiers and the family members and the DoD civilians," Creamer said. "We also want to ensure and remind that we have a part in the Army, a needed part in the Army. Finally, that chaplains and chaplain's assistants know and understand how to do a mission analysis, how their support plan fits into their commanders intent and their vision. All of this will assist us with helping Soldiers, family members and civilians become more resilient."