Ralf Rosenecker said he was on his way to a model-building convention when he drove past a convoy of tanks on a German highway just south of Grafenwoehr, April 22.
That was reported by Staff Sgt. Kathleen Polanco.
A super fan of tanks, the German citizen decided to turn his car around to follow the convoy with hopes of seeing more tanks.
Rosenecker pulled over where he saw U.S. Soldiers assigned to the 278th Military Police Company, 709th MP Battalion, directing traffic at an intersection of two German roads. The MPs welcomed Rosenecker and his friends as they set up a display of three home-made remote-controlled model tanks flying the American flag.
Rosenecker said he was excited to see so many tanks because it had been over 15 years since such a large tactical road march was conducted on German roads.
Soldiers from the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, home stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas and the Polish Army’s 12th Mechanized Division drove over 700 military vehicles from the Grafenwoehr Training Area to Hohenfels from April 22-24.
The movement was part of exercise Combined Resolve X, a U.S. Army Europe exercise designed to give the rotational combat brigades a graded culminating event before they return to the U.S. while building readiness in a realistic and complex, multinational training environment.
Many German citizens like Rosenecker came out to show support and watch a near full brigade of tanks and other tracked vehicles travel the 80-kilometer route on Bavarian country-side roads.
A German family waved at the Soldiers while another German civilian widely-held the American flag across his body as the convoy passed by. Other local citizens wore t-shirts with U.S. Army printed on them and hats with U.S. Army unit patches on them.
“I’m very proud of our Soldiers for a job well done, but I also very much appreciate the local communities here in Bavaria,” said Col. David W. Gardner, the 2nd ABCT commander. “Their support was critical to conducting a successful road march.”