Russian and American troops, who used to square off on either side of the Iron Curtain, Thursday launched joint military exercises for the first time on German territory. About 500 soldiers from both countries were involved in the exercises at the US military base in Grafenwohr in Bavaria in southern Germany, the US army said. The joint operation was dubbed "Torgau 2005," named after the city in the eastern part of Germany where the two armies joined up on April 25, 1945, a few days before toppling the Nazi regime. "We want to remove the barriers so we can cooperate more in the future," said an American officer taking part in the exercises. The maneuvers with armored tanks took place on a terraiin used by the American army for warfare simulations and testing of new weapons. Camp Grafenwohr was the principal training ground for the German army under Adolf Hitler. The joint US-Russian military exercises began in May at a camp near Moscow.