This past week in Izmir we were extremely fortunate to host a visit from U.S. Army Europe's Command Sergeant Major Robert V. Abernethy.
Our target audience for this event was the senior NCO's from LANDCOM including the most senior among us, the OR-8 (Master Sgt.) and OR-9 (Sgt. Major) representatives from all divisions within the headquarters.
The day began with a town-hall style discussion full of U.S. NCOs. It's always good to have focused time whenever a senior mentor from your nation visits. This was a highly collaborative and inspiring two hours for our U.S. NCO Allies working here.
During the afternoon, the multinational NCOs from across the headquarters joined in for a Defender-Europe 20 focused professional development session co-chaired by both me and Robert. Defender 20 is the joint, multi-national, U.S. Army Europe-led U.S. European Command exercise set to begin early next year and runs through May.
Defender's significance is it will involve the biggest movement of U.S. based forces to Europe in more than 25 years. Over 37,000 U.S., allied, and partner nation service members are expected to participate, including 20,000 from the United States mainland. In total, 18 nations are expected to be involved including two partner nations.
As you may have already guessed, the content of our discussions was highly relevant and extremely informative. It ignited some great dialogue, ultimately elevating the readiness of our team. The depth of knowledge CSM Abernethy imparted on the NCOs gave them a situational awareness that is invaluable.
After all, knowledge is readiness. Shared knowledge is shared strength.