CINCU, Romania - The Alabama Army National Guard is participating in Resolute Castle 16. This is nested inside Operation Atlantic Resolve, which is a United States Army and Europe-led multinational operation that strengthens U.S. and NATO allies' partnerships.
Resolute Castle 16 is an ongoing joint-training mission taking place in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, and Romania. U.S. forces are working with coalition forces to develop strong partnerships, working relationships and training initiatives. Alabama Army National Guard Soldiers are working alongside Romanian Land Forces to improve military infrastructure, develop engineering strategies and execute training plans.
In Cincu, Romania, they are improving infrastructure in order to create a highly functioning training area called Cincu Training Range.
"We are building multi-purpose buildings that will be used for various functions on this part of the range," said Staff. Sgt. John Smith, masonry and carpentry supervisor, 166th Engineer Company, Alabama Army National Guard.
These buildings are part of an initiative to improve the Romanian Land Forces' Cincu Training Range. This vertical engineering project is carried over from last year, so the soldiers are not starting from scratch. Every training rotation, Engineers have three weeks to complete their priorities of work in order to stay on track for the next rotation. After arriving to Cincu Training Range, they immediately began the planning and observation stage and got a lot accomplished in the first few days.
Spc. Justin Powe, a carpentry and masonry specialist from the 166th Engineer Company in Winfield, Alabama, said that the project continuously progresses every year. "Last year we laid foundations for the buildings," he said. "This year we are going to try to get as many buildings up as we can."
The Soldiers working on the site have trained and worked together on various projects during their drill weekends, but this is the first time for some of them to get the chance to work on building actual structures. Various job skills are present at the job site including masonry and carpentry specialists, electricians and plumbers. Many National Guard Soldiers work in construction in their civilian jobs, which provides an additional layer of knowledge beneficial to all involved.
Romanian Land Forces Engineers work hand-in-hand with U.S. Soldiers as well. Being open-minded to learn different techniques is a key element to making this job site functional and successful. Soldiers from each country have the chance to learn work-related skills from one another, build partnerships and discover ways to overcome language barriers. This operation is beneficial for all involved not only to build infrastructure, but also for developing and strengthening interpersonal skills useful for all military careers.