U.S. ARMY GARRISON GRAFFENWOEHR, Germany -- Looking through the crowd of 147 multinational distinguished guests in their military uniforms and business suits, is difficult not to appreciate the level of commitment that each nation has made toward building partnerships.
Words of appreciation were given to the distinguished visitors for their nation’s dedication to Combined Endeavor, or CE, the world’s largest and pre-eminent command, control, communications and computer, or C4, systems exercise.
“On its 18th year, the exercise owes its success foremost to the dedicated involvement and the talented contributions of your national contingents,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Henry Nowak, Director of U.S. European Command’s Cyber and C4 Directorate. “Your personal presence here today is significant because it reaffirms that the important work that occurs here is well recognized at the senior levels of your nation’s armed forces and defense establishments.”
More than 1,300 Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, civilians, contractors and academia came together at the Joint Multinational Training Command to prepare, plan and test communications equipment.
“Combined Endeavor is a very important exercise for Albanian communication and information systems; it’s very beneficial to us,” said Albanian Lt. Col. Tonin Gjini, participating in his fourth CE. “My specialists work with other nations to share important information necessary for development and growth. It’s also important to build our human relationships. During this exercise each year, we develop great relationships, friendships and have fun. When everyone returns home, we prepare our lessons learned, and then begin the job of developing our CIS systems.”
As the exercise has evolved, training has grown to include participants stationed at the Joint Multinational Training Center, as well as remote sites. This has further enhanced the interoperability gained by CE.
“Interoperability is the backbone of coalition operations,” said U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John Messerschmidt, the director of assessments and analysis and reserve component advisor to the commander, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany, during his visit.
“The partnership and relationship building are infused here; you can just sense it,” he said. “This is a great venue for testing, experimenting, looking at concepts and then coming back next year and asking, ‘what did we learn?’ We don’t want to be stagnant. This is what it’s all about; this is the future.”