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Home : News : State Partnership Program
NEWS | June 22, 2015

Romania welcomes Soldiers from Alabama National Guard for Operation Resolute Castle

By Sgt. Eric Roberts 131st Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

CINCU, Romania – Members of the Romanian Army's 136th Engineers welcomed Soldiers of the Alabama National Guard to Cincu Training Center for Operation Resolute Castle on June 15, 2015, in Cincu, Romania.

Soldiers with the 877th Engineer Battalion will work closely with their Romanian counterparts as they break ground on a 5 kilometer road and 12 buildings at the training center while other elements support the mission.

"(Operation) Resolute Castle 15 is a rare opportunity for us to stand side by side with our State Partnership Program partner Romania," said Lt. Col. Shawn Arnold, Commander 877th Engineer Battalion. "The 877th has participated in many exercises and operations throughout the world and we are extremely grateful to be given this opportunity to add Resolute Castle 15 as our next accomplishment."

Operation Resolute Castle is an Army Europe-led multinational operation held at Cincu Training Area, Romania and Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria, June 15-Sept. 15, 2015. The operation will include more than 1,000 participants from the Alabama and Tennessee Army National Guard as they work to plan, coordinate, construct and improve infrastructure for ranges and training areas with their partners.

Cpl. Ionut Radu of the Romanian Army's 136 Engineer Battalion said that he looks most forward to working together. "I am looking for experience," said Radu. "We do not get to learn all these things in our unit."

Partnership is not only important to the Romanians it is key to the Alabama National Guard according to Sgt. Ronald Peoples.

"It is good training to interact with other countries," said Peoples. "This is friendly. We are partners. We are here to help them, they are here to help us."

In the midst of the exercise some soldiers cannot help but be excited to be out of traditional training and have new experience.

"Romania is beautiful," said Spc. William Warnock. "This is exciting because normally when we do training we do the same thing over and over again. This gets out of your groove."

Warnock added getting "out of your groove" makes a better Soldier.

Though friendships will most likely be born and experiences never forgotten, Arnold sees the opportunity for his Soldiers as the utmost importance.

"Through diverse engineering experience we will ensure that the training structures and maneuver corridors enable a great set of training," said Arnold. "As part of the U.S. Army Europe team we will work hard to ensure that Cincu Training Area becomes a facility that rivals any other in Europe."

As the operation continues Romanian Cpl. Dan Rusu sees the opportunity in the simplest sense.

"We will join in common actions together. This is important to our people," said Rusu. "We want to collaborate with other nations, and to see how the U.S. Army works."