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# 2007-08-16-1 Aug.

16, 2007


HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Nearly 350 1st Armored Division Soldiers from Baumholder,
Germany, conducted railhead operations at Quartermaster Kaserne, Smith Barracks, Aug. 13-15
as they prepared to head to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania, to take part in the Joint Task
Force-East “proof of principle” exercise there.

The division Soldiers, designated “Task Force Deep Steel,” will serve as the training element for
the exercise, rounding out the nearly 1,000 U.S. Soldiers, Airmen and Navy personnel from all
over Europe participating in the exercise.

The training is designed to build interoperability and military relationships with NATO members
Romania and Bulgaria, and test the command and control capabilities required for future brigade-
level deployments to JTF-E. The exercise will also validate the functions, mission and manning
of the JTF– East headquarters and the support infrastructure at the various operating sites in the

“Deep Steel” Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 94th Field Artillery will conduct squad-, team-, and
individual-level infantry training with their Romanian military counterparts. The troops, who
normally serve as Multiple Launch Rocket System artillery crews, will be organized and
operating as infantry during the exercise.

“During a time when many of our fellow Soldiers throughout the Army and those of our allies are
‘downrange’ engaged in war, it is vitally important that other units maintain their fighting edge.
This training will give us the opportunity to enhance our infantry skills and enhance our already
valuable relationships with Romania and Bulgaria,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Matsel, commander of
the 1-94th.

At the railhead the artillery troops loaded 5-ton trucks, fuel tankers, wrecker recovery vehicles
and Humvees aboard trains which will take the equipment to Romania.

“Because this training is focused on small-level and individual-level training, the logistical
aspects to transporting our individual equipment are not as intense as relocating vast amounts of
large armored vehicles to a war zone,” said Maj. Will Johnson, the 1-94th executive officer.
“However, the importance of doing it safely and doing it correctly are still paramount. Successful
deployment of personnel and equipment is always a key piece of successful deployed operations.
The railhead operations give us a chance to ensure we maintain our logistical edge in addition to
sharpening our infantry skills during the ensuing training we will participate in as Task Force
Deep Steel.”
Additional Baumholder-based 1st Armored Division troops, as well as Soldiers from
Headquarters, U.S. Army, Europe in Heidelberg and the Southern European Task Force, based in
Vicenza, Italy, will be part of a joint headquarters entity for the exercise. The element will also
include personnel from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy Seabees and Romanian military forces.

The exercise will officially begin with an opening ceremony set for Aug. 17 and is scheduled to
conclude with a closing ceremony Oct. 22.