Date: Wednesday, January 24, 1996 1:19PM
Local units support mission for peace
by Ruth Johnson
Stuttgart Citizen (Jan. 24, 1996)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Army News Service) -- As troops continue to file out
to the Balkans, the Stuttgart military community takes an active role in
support of the peacekeeping mission.
From international communication to U.S. deployment processing and mine
detection to building bridges, local units and organizations are working
together to bring a lasting hope to the war-torn regions, while taking care
of families back home.
This mission is much like the Gulf War, said U.S. European Command
Public Affairs Officer Col. Robert Mirelson, of the coalition mission
joining 60,000 troops from more than 36 nations in support of peace.
Aside from its support of U.S. forces, EUCOM once again shares the
responsibilities of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization endeavor.
The biggest challenge we (EUCOM) face is integrating communication
between the 16 NATO and 20 non-NATO nations (participating in the
Implementation Force), Mirelson said.
The EUCOM Public Affairs Office established a Joint Information Bureau for
the operation, providing public affairs support to more than 1,650
registered media in Tuzla alone, he said.
For the deployed, EUCOM is working on getting television and radio
correspondence set up at each deployment site and bringing in communication
equipment in time for the Super Bowl. Live radio out of Frankfurt should be
available by mid-January.
For the intelligence directorate, the main challenge is establishing
systems, from weather prediction to determining potential threats, without
violating NATO or U.S. security processes, Mirelson said. This means working
closely with NATO allies. Units from Stuttgart and Augsburg that have been
affected by the deployment have unique missions.
Although one third of the available uniformed forces in Europe have
been deployed, services and programs will not suffer, Mirelson said.
Missions in our geographic area continue. More than 3,000 reserve component
personnel have already started to arrive at installations throughout Europe
approximately 300 in Stuttgart.
- The 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group provides operational
support to each of the major headquarters groups participating in the
mission, to include France, Germany, Britain and the United States.
- Soldiers and civilians from the 52nd Signal Battalion provide the
basis for non-tactical communication support.
- Mine detection is a primary responsibility of a local Military Police
working dog team.
- Aside from law enforcement and security, the 554th MP Company is
assisting with the railway mission.
- The Naval Special Warfare Unit II (SEALs for sea, air and land) were
key players in examining the bridge construction site on the Sava River,
where American troops have begun crossing into Bosnia despite inclement
weather conditions and flooding.
- The 66th Military Intelligence Group in Augsburg are doing military
intelligence work in support of IFOR.
- Members of the 3rd Detachment, 510th Personnel Service Battalion
Postal Company, joined with other postal units, are responsible for setting
up and maintaining postal services for U.S. troops in the deployment areas.
- One soldier from the Staff Judge Advocate Office is providing general
legal support for U.S. troops in Hungary.
- One individual has been sent to Zagreb to coordinate Morale, Welfare
and Recreation facilities for the troops.
- The Detachment C, 510th Personnel Service Battalion provides
deployment services right out of Stuttgart. The unit helps soldiers update
their casualty and next-of-kin documents, prepares deployment folders for
all soldiers deploying out of Stuttgart, cuts temporary-
change-of-station orders and keeps accountability for soldiers departing to
the Balkans from Stuttgart.
The 6th Area Support Group is making sure that the families left behind
are taken care of through support groups and family assistance centers.
It's going to be a long, tough year, Mirelson said. Hopefully we'll get
everyone out safely and successfully.