NEWS | June 10, 2021

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers leverage NATO alliances during DEFENDER Europe

By Capt. Lorenzo Llorente 7th Mission Support Command

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers and Civilians assigned to the 7th Mission Support Command teamed up with NATO Allies and partners from 18 different countries to provide a protection capability for U.S. Army Europe and Africa by serving as the Joint Security Coordination Center in support of DEFENDER Europe 21.

The JSCC was a concept developed in 2019 after a critical gap within the protection warfighting function showed a lack of coordination with security forces in United States European Command's rear security area, known as the Joint Security Area. The 7th MSC's staff led the efforts of centrally planning, coordinating, monitoring, and advising all security operations in the JSA.

"The JSCC as a proof-of-concept was a success. We assembled a team of security subject matter experts from 18 nations, NATO, and other organizations and created a new organization that ended up playing a critical role during DEFENDER Europe 21," said Patricia Giera, chief of protection for the 7th MSC and JSCC. "This was not an easy task. We had many challenges, including COVID travel restrictions, restriction of movement requirements, and nations who could only participate virtually. However, we all came together as one and made it work.”

Building relationships and having lines of communications with many organizations was an important part of the JSCC. The team worked parallel with the 21st Theater Sustainment Command's Regional Movement Coordination Center to ensure that multiple convoy support centers, ports of debarkation, and road movements had a scheme of protection.

NATO Allies and Partners were surprised they were working with U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers. "Honestly, it felt no different working with Reserve Soldiers. They were very professional and their expertise seemed like they did this job full-time," said Warrant Officer Class 2 James Radcliffe.

In the British Army, a Warrant Officer Class 2 serves as a senior advisor and is the equivalent to a U.S. Army Sergeant Major. In order to further exercise interoperability, Radcliffe served as the JSCC senior enlisted advisor to the joint security coordinator, Brig. Gen. Wanda Williams, commander of the 7th MSC.

"Having the opportunity to be the senior enlisted advisor to Officers, Warrant Officers, and senior NCOs from the U.S. Army and other NATO Nations was an amazing and invaluable experience that I hope I can do again in the future,” said Radcliffe. “We really are stronger together."

In addition to working with NATO and Partners for Peace countries, the JSCC efforts also included members from Installation Management Command-Europe and the 18th Military Police Brigade. In total, the team coordinated security for 399 road, 91 air, 6 rail, and 4 sea movements.