By Staff Sgt. Joel Salgado, USAREUR Public Affairs January 14, 2013
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Soldiers from U.S. Army Europe's 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command and 44th Expeditionary Signal Battalion have deployed to Turkey in support of NATO missile defense operations.
The USAREUR units are deployed along with members of the 32nd AAMDC from Fort Bliss, Texas, which will provide the two Patriot missile batteries for the mission, due to arrive in Turkey later this month. The 10th AAMDC will serve as the command and control element for the batteries and act as a liaison for U.S, NATO and host nation forces, said Lt. Col. Robert Ozanich, the 10th AAMDC's intelligence officer.
NATO forces are deploying for the mission in response to a request from the Turkish government to augment its air defense capabilities to defend its population and territory. USAREUR's multinational partners from Germany and the Netherlands plan to contribute forces to the operation as well.
The deployment is nothing new for the 10th AAMDC, which has participated in other major multinational exercises in recent months.
"We have quite a bit of experience (working with multinational partners)," said Maj. Joel Johnson, operations officer for the unit. "We've been involved in partnership events in Poland and we've recently returned from a EUCOM (U.S. European Command) exercise in Israel where we did a lot of interface with our Israeli counterparts. So it's kind of almost second nature to us at this point."
Several Soldiers from the 10th AAMDC said they are looking forward to the mission and the chance to put the training and knowledge they have gained from working with their partners to good use.
"Our expectations are that we'll be able to successfully complete this mission and provide necessary protections to Turkey," said Ozanich. "I know our people are looking forward to the opportunity because it's a chance to execute our mission and do our job that we train and prepare for."
The duration of the deployment will be determined by the contributing nations in coordination with Turkey and NATO.