CHARLESTON, SC, UNITED STATES
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly Calkins
MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU AIR BASE, Romania – The 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Forward hosted the final planning conference for Resolute Castle 18 in support of Atlantic Resolve at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Feb. 21-22, 2018.
Approximately 80 personnel attended the conference to finalize the timelines of the engineering projects between U.S. and NATO forces for Resolute Castle 18. The attendees included Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers from 10 U.S. states, members of U.S. Army Europe, and NATO partners from Romania, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Other NATO partners who will be participating in Resolute Castle 18 include Denmark and Poland.
“Thank you for all of your efforts, we look forward to working with the engineer battalions and NATO partners,” said Lt. Col. Edward Cloyd, the deputy commander of the 218th MEB. “In the short term, we expect every unit to increase training proficiency and in doing so, we will leave the facility for other units to conduct realistic and challenging training in the future. In the long term, we want to leave the facilities with the training capabilities for combat.”
The conference also encompassed refining the movement of U.S. and NATO personnel and equipment to three locations between two countries. The 397th Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army Reserves, will conduct engineering missions at Cincu Training Center, Romania, while the 107th Engineer Battalion, Michigan Army National Guard, will be stationed at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area in Poland. The 15th Engineer Battalion, USAREUR, will conduct engineer missions in Zagan, Poland before transitioning to Sabre Strike 18.
“The final planning conference reaffirmed the great training opportunities available to accomplish full spectrum engineer operations with NATO Allies,” said Lt. Col. Abigail Cathelineaud, the commander of the 397th EN BN. “The Romanian Land Forces representative, MAJ Ciuta, will be a great host and I look forward to working with engineers from Netherlands and Royal Dutch Army.”
The NATO partners will work side-by-side the seven rotations of U.S. military personnel. The interoperability of the training missions allows for implementation of innovative solutions to common engineering problems.
“We are genuinely excited to be working with our primary defense ally and other NATO partners,” said Maj. James Edwards, a training major for the 75th Engineer Regiment, British Army. “Part of our role is to undertake construction tasks overseas and Resolute Castle presents and excellent opportunity to train while contributing to Operation Atlantic Resolve.”
At the conclusion of the two-day conference, all representatives briefed their concept of operations to Maj. Brian Jezewski, the officer in charge for Resolute Castle 18.
“The overall outcome of the conference provided everyone a complete understanding of the engineering training missions for Resolute Castle 18,” said Maj. Jezewski. “We look forward to our next big step of the opening ceremonies to be conducted in Poland and Romania in May.”