NEWS | Feb. 16, 2017

60 years later, the Army Reserve keeps marching along in Europe

By Capt. Kaitlyn Heacock 7th Mission Support Command

VOGELWEH AIR BASE, Germany – This year, the U.S. Army Reserve in Europe celebrates more than 60 years of operations by looking at the past, present and future.  

Brig. Gen. Steven Ainsworth hosted the 7th Mission Support Command Panel Forum Feb. 10-11 at the Armstrong Club. Discussion topics included USAR participation in past operations from post-WWII era all the way up to the ongoing operation Atlantic Resolve in the Baltic States.

Dignitaries from around the Army and the Army Reserve were invited to speak about the presence of the Army Reserve in Europe.

Two former commanding generals, retired Maj. Gen. Paul Patrick and Maj. Gen. Paul Benenati, also offered their expertise to the unit’s current leaders.

“The Army, the DoD, the EU, and NATO are counting on you to perform your valuable and specialized functions when needed,” said Benenati, who is a former commanding general of the 7th Civil Support Command, from 2012-2014, a predecessor to today’s 7th MSC.  He is currently the deputy chief of staff at U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Eustis, Va.

Patrick, who was the commanding general from 1998-2002, when Army Reserve structure was called the 7th Army Reserve Command, or 7th ARCOM, also spoke during the event.

In relation to the Army Reserve’s presence in Europe and the on-going operations here, Patrick said, “The USAR is doing the right thing.”

Patrick highlighted the importance of being familiar with eastern European and Russian history and culture in order to gain a larger perspective on the situation at hand.   

This knowledge will be needed to maintain readiness because of the complex environment for future operations in Germany and throughout Europe, he said.

Master Sgt. Richard Silva, the 7th MSC command career counselor, said the forum provided a clear focus on the mission at hand.

Silva said he gained a deeper perspective on the unit and its evolution in Europe.

Representatives attended from the United States Army Reserve Command, United States Army Europe, the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, and various Army Reserve commands from around the United States, including the 200th Military Police Command, 412th Theater Engineer Command, 76 Operational Response Command, and the 103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command. In addition, other leaders from TRADOC and the USAREUR Army Reserve Engagement Cell in Wiesbaden, also took part.

The history of the U.S. Army Reserve in Europe can be traced back to 1948 when a training program was established for reservists by the Office of Plans, Operations and Training, European Command. The European Command was the forerunner of USAREUR.

The 7th Mission Support Command traces its history to 1956, when the first U.S. Army Reserve units, four Army Reserve Schools, were established in Europe.

For more than 30 years, U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers in Europe served under various structures until the 7th ARCOM was activated provisionally in January 1986.

The 7th ARCOM was designated the 7th Civil Support Command prior to its official activation in September 2009. In 2015, the 7th Civil Support Command was re-designated to the 7th Mission Support Command.

The command has nearly 1,000 Soldiers and civilians assigned to 22 reserve units, stationed throughout Germany and in Vicenza, Italy.