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    “Partner for Defense” awarded to first ever civilian from TSAE

    Bobby Lightner (TSAE) receives Romanian Army Partner for Defense medal

    Photo By Markus Rauchenberger | Bobby Lightner, right, a Range and Training Land Program Specialist with the U.S....... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Christopher Stewart 

    7th Army Training Command

    CINCU, Romania – Bobby Lightner, a Range and Training Land Program specialist with the U.S. Army’s Training Support Activity Europe, was the first civilian to ever to receive the “Partner for Defense,” award April 24, 2019 at Cincu, Romania.
    The award is actually a Romanian military medal, which is usually reserved for foreign military personnel.

    “It is humbling and unexpected to receive this award,” said Lightner.
    The award was presented by Romanian Army Maj. Gen. Gheorghita Vlad, the Commanding General of the 2nd Infantry Division during the opening ceremony of exercise Resolute Castle 19 (RC19). Vlad spent a significant amount of time with Lightner.

    “We’ve worked shoulder-by-soldier for two years,” said Vlad. “He’s not just a partner, but also my friend.”

    Lightner is deeply involved with each iteration and is credited for much of the success seen during Resolute Castle (RC). RC is a multi-national, joint exercise with real-world outputs of completed construction projects building and enhancing training capabilities around Eastern Europe. RC facilitates Troop Construction Projects; National Guard and Reserve engineer units from the U.S. deploy to Romania to construct those projects.

    “Bobby has been a part of Resolute Castle since its inception five years ago (RC 15),” said U.S. Army Reserve Col. Robert Krumm, commander of the 416th Theater Engineer Command, 301st Forward Engineer Support Team-Main. “It’s come a long way and has been greatly improved largely due to Bobby Lightner’s efforts.”

    Though Lightner has the know-how and skill to conduct his job, his reputation with the Romanian military became personal through his passion for
    his professionalism and enduring work ethic.

    “He’s the brain behind the plans that assesses the execution of the projects,” said Romanian Col. Catalin Ticulescu, commander of the Joint National Training Center at Cincu. “He’s working very closely with us and is now a good friend of ours.”

    Lightner’s responsibilities at the Range and Training Program include compiling data and submitting an annual list of construction, modernization, repair and upgrades of training facilities in seven countries throughout Europe. Through his work, he takes the opportunity to foster interoperability and strengthens the alliance between the host nation’s army and the U.S. Army.

    “I get to work with very professional, mission focused Romanian Army Officers and NCO’s,” Lightner said. “I have become close with some of the Romanian Army soldiers over the years, and I consider them friends as well as allies.”

    Lightner, who served as an Armor Master Gunner in the U.S. Army years ago, recognized the importance of training and readiness.

    “Over all my years of military service, I have learned that training is the key to everything the Army does,” he said. “I support the Army’s mission by planning training ranges and facilities capable of supporting qualification and training standards for US and partner nations. When the force is trained, they have effective, lethal military capabilities.”



    Date Taken: 04.24.2019
    Date Posted: 04.30.2019 11:22
    Story ID: 320051
    Location: CINCU, RO

    Web Views: 260
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    “Partner for Defense” awarded to first ever civilian from TSAE