21st TSC team goes to Croatia, plans for upcoming exercise

Story Sgt. Frank Sanchez III
21st TSC Public Affairs

KARLOVAC, Croatia — Working closely with our European allies is a critical part of U.S. Army Europe’s mission.  To support this mission, the 21st Theater Sustainment Command sent several Soldiers and civilians to Croatia Aug. 23-27 to conduct a joint site survey for the upcoming exercise there, Immediate Response ‘11.     

The logistical and operational subject matter experts from the 21st TSC assisted USAREUR and the Croatian Ground Forces Command in planning IR 11, which is a joint field training exercise scheduled to take place in June 2011.

After attending a planning conference at the Croatian Army Headquarters in Karlovac, the 21st TSC teamed up with their Croatian counterparts, specialized in several areas of expertise, to set into motion the site surveys, which are used to determine the various support requirements for the exercise.

The 7th Civil Support Command’s 1177th Movement Control Team from Kaiserslautern traveled two hours southeast to the port city of Rijeka where they met and surveyed alongside the Port of Rijeka Authority representatives to begin organizing the seaport area of debarkation for the exercise.

 The 1177th MCT will be responsible for the accountability of all the equipment that will go through the Rijeka seaport. The equipment will be tagged with a fixed global
positioning system, called an interrogator, to track the movement of equipment from the seaport to and from the training areas.

Staff Sgt. Antonio Marquez, a team leader for the 1177th MCT, said he trusts his team and believes they will be able to provide superb movement support for the upcoming exercise. 

“Our team is pretty sharp, and I guarantee our people will be ready.  I look forward to this because we have a lot of new Soldiers, and they are excited to learn movement.  I think that this will be a good mission,” said Sergeant Marquez.
Other survey teams boarded commercial buses and headed south through the mountains and scenic countryside of the Croatian Army training site in Eugen Kvaternik near the town of Slunj.

This was a new experience for Sgt. 1st Class Guillaume Samson, the operations sergeant for the 7th CSC’s 209th Army Liaison Team from Wiesbaden, Germany. Sergeant Samson said he took this time to assess his team’s capabilities and learn more about his Croatian counterparts.

Sergeant Samson will be working in the command and control section for the 209th ALT during the exercise.

He said he believes these kinds of exercises help to foster strong relationships between the U.S. and countries like Croatia. 

“We never know in the near future when we will have to work with the Croatians in different parts of the world.  Working together we can learn how each other functions,” said Sergeant Samson.

Soldiers from the 18th Engineer Brigade, 720th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, and several Soldiers and civilians from the 21st TSC’s headquarters also took part in the survey.

Croatian army 1st Lt. Zvonko Gromilovic, the commander of Croatia’s Counter Improvised Explosive Device Task Force, said this site survey mission will help the U.S. Army to take back more than just the survey information for IR 11.
“With our languages and technical expression, we must be able to harmonize our standards of procedures on how we all deal with specific situations,” said Lieutenant Gromilovic.

The work has now only begun for the 21st TSC as the necessary preparations to make Immediate Response 11 a success continue.