Story by Capt. Colin Cutler, 926th Engineer Brigade
The drizzling rain paused just long enough for the closing ceremony of Resolute Castle 17 at Joint National Training Center, Cincu, Romania. Soldiers of the Romanian 10th Engineer Brigade and U.S. 926th Engineer Brigade and 59th Troop Command gathered to mark the end of this year’s exercise.
Video by Staff Sgt. Franchesca Pancham, 150th Special Operations Wing
2,300 troops from 3 different nations and 3 different components worked on Resolute Castle projects, with eight rotations from April through September. At JNTC, Soldiers of the Reserve and South Carolina National Guard worked together with Romanian engineers, Navy Seabees, and British sappers of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) to build more than 6 miles of tank trails and supporting infrastructure for an armor live-fire range, a sniper range, and a light demolitions range, while the active duty 15th Engineer Battalion built ranges in Poland.
Col. Paul Mattern, commander of the 926th Engineer Brigade and officer-in-charge of Resolute Castle 17, remarked on the dual achievement of the joint NATO exercise: “We’ve constructed not only premier training facilities in Eastern Europe, but also tangible, human connections centered on trust and resolve with our allies.”
Brig. Gen. Gheorghe Soare, commander of the Romanian 10th Engineer Brigade, agreed, saying, “The constant exchange of experience has been and is one of the objectives we have assumed as an important element of the training.”
Resolute Castle is an operation under the broader umbrella of Atlantic Resolve in the European Reassurance Initiative, a NATO effort to cement cooperation and deter external aggression. Soare accentuated the importance of exercises like Resolute Castle in accomplishing these objectives, “Besides completing the projects, I am convinced that the professional experience we have gained, and the personal relationships that have been developed, are critical for success in future joint actions.”