Guardian Shield: EUCOM team trains to assist JTFs in emergency

If an emergency situation arose in Europe, a team of service members and civilians working for U.S. European Command Headquarters, stationed in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, could be called on to assist with the U.S response.

The team is EUCOM’s Joint Enabling Team, or JET, and they assist by training the EUCOM Joint Task Force.

In order to stay sharp for such an event, key members of JET participated in Exercise Guardian Shield 2010, held at Rhine Ordnance Barracks Aug. 17-20.

Guardian Shield is a U.S. Army Europe training event designed to train the 7th Civil Support Command in joint task force and foreign consequence management operations.

In the exercise, the JET team helped set up and train the 7th CSC Joint Task Force to respond to an industrial accident in Poland, after the Polish government requested help from the U.S. government.

“We teach them how to be a JTF, how to report to EUCOM, and after 30 to 60 days, the JET comes back to USAG Stuttgart,” said Dean Dominique, JET director.

A JTF is made up of members of different military branches who come together for a specific, limited objective, according to Joint Pub 3-33. JTFs are established on a geographical area or functional basis.

“As the JET, we bring our joint experience in order to help the JTF rapidly become fully operational.  Once the JTF is up and running, we return back to Stuttgart and provide the JTF staff with a reach-back capability that continues to assist them to do their mission,” Dominique said.

This was the first time the JET participated in Exercise Guardian Shield.

JET team members included subject matter experts from throughout the EUCOM staff:  Dominique, a former Army ranger-qualified infantry and logistics officer and JET member before retiring last year; Maj. Todd Terral, joint operations center advisor; Maj. Daniel Sukman, joint planning expert; Navy Cdr. “Sparky” Conliffe, strategic logistics expert; Lt. Col. Daniel Davis and Maj. Edmund Vasquez, foreign consequence management experts, and Lt. Col. Daniel Morgan, interagency adviser.

Besides helping the JTF hone their skills, the JET members were also able to gain perspective into how service members from other branches conduct operations.

For example, Conliffe, the team’s only Navy member, brought the Navy’s point of view and operational traditions to a team made up of mostly Army Soldiers and reservists.

“This was my first JET deployment,” Conliffe said. “It gave me a new perspective, as a Navy pilot, to see how the Army organizes, plans and deploys.”

Likewise, Dominique noted how challenging it is for people who normally work in EUCOM Headquarters with members of their own military branches to suddenly be part of a joint team.

“The team members have full-time day jobs as members of the EUCOM staff.  Then they get the call and jump into a phone booth to put on their JET suit,” he joked.

Guardian Shield 2010 has the 7th CSC leaning forward in preparation for future foreign consequence management missions. If it happens, the JET will be there to help them.

“We expect when we go back next year for Guardian Shield 11, that the 7th CSC will be that much better at it,” Dominique said.

In addition the JET is better prepared to assist “if we have to go in the real world,” he added.