In times of terror threats, such as now, it is only logical that targeted countries use teamwork as a defense.

A joint U.S.-Germany announcement, made in El Paso on Nov. 5, is a great example of taking this step toward interchangeable military units.

The U.S. and German armies have signed a formal air defense partnership agreement. There will be common training exercises and common leadership training. The two countries will share instructors.

This helps Germany because U.S. technology is the most advanced in the world. This helps the U.S. because it has several military installations in Germany, many centered around Kaiserslautern in the Rhineland area. And there has long been a German military presence on Fort Bliss.

Also, recall a terrorist plot to set off simultaneous massive explosions at both Ramstein Air Force Base near Kaiserslautern and at the Frankfurt Airport was thwarted by a joint intelligence effort last summer.

So this formal partnership in air defense is a logical move.

Maj. Gen. Robert P. Lennox, Fort Bliss commander and commandant of the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery Center and School, said, 'The days of fighting by yourself without a partner are lone gone. We have the multiplication of (unmanned aerial vehicles) throughout the world and terrorists use rockets and missiles in a very strategic way.''

It was Lennox who signed the partnership agreement for the U.S., and it was Brig. Gen. Wolfgang Koepke who signed on behalf of Germany.

With this formal partnership, soldiers will travel between the Army air defense schools in Germany and the U.S.

Terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and fragile governments in some countries are all challenges to the safety of the free nations.

It's clear the U.S. and several European countries are considered targets of those who want to do major harm.

Several countries have already been attacked by terrorists. So it is only wise that the world's most advanced nations team up and share their manpower and brainpower.

The U.S. and Germany, both already having military presences in each other's countries, are taking a needed step and are showing other free nations that teaming up can lead to more strength.

It is a good move to have nearly interchangeable U.S. and German units fighting those who would do us harm.


El Paso Times