U.S. Army soldiers with the 153rd Public Affairs Detachment, Joint Forces Headquarters, West Virginia National Guard, arrived at Hohenfels Training Area in Bavaria, Germany, on March 7, 2024, to provide public affairs support for Allied Spirit 24.

Allied Spirit is a multi-national training exercise hosted by the 7th Army Training Command that takes place annually at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center. The exercise offers NATO members and key partners the opportunity to develop and enhance interoperability and readiness across specified warfighting functions. Although the event is integrated, the German Army’s 41st Panzergrenadier Brigade is the primary training audience for this year’s event, taking place from 26 February to 27 March 2024.

While deployed to Germany, the 153rd PAD will provide public affairs support to cover the approximate 6,500 Allied Spirit 24 participants.

Several countries will participate in the exercise including Denmark, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. The 153rd PAD will continue to provide support until their two-week rotation in country is complete.

“We plan to accomplish a multitude of different tasks during Allied Spirit 2024 to support our unit’s mission readiness,” said Sgt. 1st Class Ariana Shuemake, public affairs operations noncommissioned officer of the 153rd. “We have a chance to train alongside NATO forces in a joint training environment that highlights the strength of the relationship that we have with our allies and partners.”

Allied Spirit 24 provides the 153rd PAD an opportunity to showcase the strong relationship between NATO Allies and partners through visual and written storytelling. The deployment is a unique opportunity for the unit because they have not been collectively tasked with a mission outside the U.S. since 2017. The Soldiers will be creating photo stories, social media content, traditional video products, conducting interviews and writing articles showcasing the events.

“The 153rd Public Affairs Detachment was chosen for this mission due to the unit’s overall readiness and our ability to deliver strategic communication products at the highest level,” said Mason. “Working with our NATO allies is always a great opportunity for units in the Army National Guard.”

The Joint Multinational Readiness Center is a Europe-based Combat Training Center and is headquartered in Bavaria at Hohenfels Training Area. Covering 40,000 acres, Hohenfels was requisitioned for use as a U.S. Army training area in 1951, and is the second largest training area available to U.S. troops in Europe. Additionally, this is the only Army Combat Training Center outside the continental U.S.

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