Team Ramstein supports NATO with Patriot deployment to Turkey
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- A C-5 Galaxy from the 521st Air Mobility Wing, bound for Turkey, left here today with service members and supplies for the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command in support of NATO's Patriot Missile Battery deployment.
The flight followed an earlier delivery of equipment by an 86th Airlift Wing C-130J Super Hercules on Jan. 7.
"The 10th AAMDC is sending a small contingency of personnel ... to provide command and control for Patriot batteries that are coming over from the continental United States to provide missile defense for our allies in Turkey," said Maj. Joel Johnson, 10th AAMDC operations officer.
With Syria entering its 22nd month of civil war, the U.S. began deploying Patriot missiles into Turkey in an effort to help defend the NATO ally from potential threats of the Syrian conflict.
In a recent statement from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Panetta affirmed U.S. commitment to Turkey.
"We've made very clear ... we're going to protect countries in this region," Panetta said last month. "We have to act ... to make sure that we defend ourselves and make sure that Turkey can defend itself."
The deployment of U.S. forces was approved after coordination between the Department of Defense and NATO.
"Supporting missions like this is something I've been doing my whole career and I love doing it; being able to be a part of helping an ally, it's a great honor," said Tech Sgt. Scott Blais, a flight engineer with the 337th Airlift Squadron, Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass. "This mission is important because we are supporting our allies in Europe and the U.S. government feels that this is important for us to do it."
Ramstein Air Base's support is pivotal in delivering combat and humanitarian airlift throughout Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia.
"As the gateway to Eurasia, Africa, and the Middle East, we enable the deployment of strategic capabilities, said Brig. Gen. C.K. Hyde, 86th AW wing commander. "We are committed to the success of our joint force and allies and are always ready to partner with them to achieve our common security objectives."
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Following Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's announcement today during Senate testimony that the United States is augmenting its participation in NATO's air policing mission in the Baltics and will increase joint training through its aviation detachment in Poland, a defense official provided additional information.
Slovenian-born General Frank Gorenc, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa, visited Slovenia Nov. 8 and 9, 2013, to meet Defence Minister Roman Jakič, Chief of the General Staff, Brigadier Dobran Božič, and President Borut Pahor. The general also visited the barracks and airbase in Cerklje ob Krki and be presented the capabilities of the Slovenian air force, according to the Defence Ministry.
Warrant Officer 1st Class Krzysztof Gadowski, the top enlisted advisor for the Polish air force, visited the Ramstein First Term Airman's Center, Kisling NCO Academy, and the Airman Leadership School Sept. 17-19. The trip included an overview of the academic curriculum, multiple sessions of observing instructors interact with students, and one-on-one discussions with the enlisted leaders of both PME facilities.
Juniper Stallion 13 was a combined, bilateral F-15/F-16 air-to-air exercise designed to improve the interoperability and cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli air forces. Noble Melinda 13 was an annual bilateral maritime exercise focusing on explosive ordnance disposal and other underwater operations.
Gillison responded that while blanket waivers cannot be granted, each waiver package will include a copy of the Air Force command letter stating the debt was incurred "through no fault of the employee."
U.S. European Command and the Israel Defense Forces are scheduled to begin Juniper Stallion 13, a bilateral aerial exercise held between the U.S. and Israeli air forces this week in Israel. The exercise is not related to any current real-world events.
Poland and the United States continue their aerial training at Detachment 1, 52nd Operations Group here as they move into the operational aspect of the flying program.
"We consider them one of our top allies, and it's an ally that we want to improve our relationship with and partnership with," Spears said. "So, the aviation detachment is a mechanism with which we can strengthen that partnership."
Our goal is to make each nation here better because together we are stronger," Sharpy said. "The goal of this visit has been to show our visitors everything it takes to complete the mission and that really involves our Airmen; they are what make the mission possible."
"I really think that EUCOM provided us with the best insight and tools on strategic communication," Ceku said. "EUCOM strategic communication experts had an in-depth knowledge about the cultural complexity that Kosovo has and they have adapted their training perfectly for our own needs."