While thousands of Oklahoma Army National Guard soldiers trained last month at various locations throughout the state, one unit was called upon to conduct a special mission supporting NATO forces in Europe.
Throughout June, soldiers from the 145th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment (MPAD), a unit dedicated to producing news content for the Oklahoma Army National Guard and U.S. Army, divided into several multimedia teams and traveled to four different countries to report on a multilateral security cooperation exercise in central and eastern Europe.
Known as Operation Atlantic Resolve, the joint force exercise included participants from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and the United Kingdom. The exercise primarily focused on exercises in Poland and the Baltic states — Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
The media teams operated out of all three Baltic states, Poland and Germany, producing print stories, photographs and video content that was distributed to military and civilian news agencies worldwide. Maj. Geoff Legler, 145th MPAD commander and resident of Norman, said participation in Operation Atlantic Resolve provided his soldiers with a valuable opportunity to perform their duties as military journalists.
“Operation Atlantic Resolve is important because it demonstrates the United States’ commitment to our allies in the Baltic states and Poland. The 145th MPAD’s mission was to ensure the world knew that U.S. soldiers were training with our allies,” said Legler, who worked out of U.S. Army Europe Headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany. “This has been a great opportunity for members of the MPAD to demonstrate their ability to operate in multinational joint training environments and produce world-class news products.”
About 4,500 military personnel participated in several joint training exercises to help the international forces become familiar with each other’s weapons, equipment and tactics throughout various offensive, defensive and stability operations. Sgt. Anthony Jones, a 145th MPAD public affairs specialist from Stillwater, said the unit’s journalists were able to cover events that are key to the success of allied forces. As he reported from Estonia, he was able to witness the importance of NATO’s international training endeavors.
“I was able to tell the story of American and Estonian soldiers working shoulder-to-shoulder to improve our nations’ ability to effectively partner and take on the challenges of the future,” Jones said.
“The mission was an amazing opportunity for the MPAD,” Jones said. “We are trained to move into an area and begin telling the Army’s story. Going to Europe and working throughout the Baltic states and Poland was an excellent test of our unit’s readiness and ability to perform at the highest levels.”