News Icon

News: In the foxhole

Story by Senior Airman Jonathan StefankoSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon

In the foxhole Senior Airman Jonathan Stefanko

An Estonian soldier watches for the enemy during a Saber Strike exercise in the Adazi Training Area, Latvia, June 11, 2014. The exercise focused on conducting a counter attack with approximately 140 Estonian soldiers against the U.S. Army with Air National Guard assets. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jonathan Stefanko)

ADAZI TRAINING AREA, Latvia - The smell of burning nicotine begins to fill the small hole, a cigarette lit by an Estonian soldier taking advantage of a brief moment of peace as he waits on the front line of battle.

Laying on the cool ground attempting to escape the unforgiving sun, he reminisces of home with his comrades as he brushes off the thousands of ants and blackened soot that has long since covered his body.

Then, as a crackling thunder explodes in the clear blue sky, almost instantly the cigarette falls from the soldier's lips as an enemy F-16 Falcon soars above.

“Get down!” The Estonian sergeant yells to the corporal and private.

The ground begins to shake violently; this was the signal they were waiting for. Sprinting to their next location they dodge a barrage of artillery strikes raining down upon them. The enemy has revealed themselves for an attack and so begins an extensive military exercise testing the limits of both foreign and United States soldiers.

This simulated battle takes place as part of Saber Strike 2014, in which 10 nations gather together to undergo various military scenarios to improve interoperability for future contingency missions. In this portion of the exercise, more than 100 Estonian veterans set up strategic points in preparation to a counter attack against the enemy, simulated by the U.S. Army and Air National Guard.

“The hardest part of the exercise is waiting,” said Estonian Sgt. Oliver Kala, anti-tank infantry battalion. “The action moves very fast and is difficult when it happens, so it is great working with our allies to improve these skills.”

Before separating the Soviet Union in 1991, Estonia and the United States were divided by a conflict of interest. Now allies, more than laughter and friendship is shared between the two countries.

“We were once at war long ago,” said Capt. Jaan Sarapuu, Army National Guard 103rd Engineer Battalion and Estonian descendant. “Now pieces to a bigger picture, we work together by conducting exercises like Saber Strike so we can learn invaluable tactical information which will help keep our soldiers safe.”

As our relationships with our international partners grow, the way battle plays out in the field will continually evolve through innovation, tactics, and the men and women who swear to protect the nations they love. Experience gained from Saber Strike and exercises like it allows the United States and partner nation’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines to gain new knowledge and methods needed to preserve freedom.


Connected Media
ImagesIn the foxhole
Estonian Pvt. Taavi Ploom, anti-tank infantry battalion,...
ImagesIn the foxhole
An Estonian soldier waits in the tree line before...
ImagesIn the foxhole
Latvian soldiers lay barbed wire in preparation to a...
ImagesIn the foxhole
Estonian soldiers from the anti-tank infantry battalion,...
ImagesIn the foxhole
Estonian Sgt. Oliver Kala, anti-tank infantry battalion,...
ImagesIn the foxhole
An Estonian soldier uses a flare during an attack on...
ImagesIn the foxhole
Estonian Pvt. Taavi Ploom, anti-tank infantry battalion,...
ImagesIn the foxhole
Estonian Cpl. Martin Jääger, anti-tank infantry...
ImagesIn the foxhole
Estonian Cpl. Martin Jääger, anti-tank infantry...
ImagesIn the foxhole
A U.S. Air National Guard F-16 Falcon flies over the...
ImagesIn the foxhole
U.S. Army soldiers look for Estonian soldiers during a...
ImagesIn the foxhole
An Estonian soldier looks for cover during a Saber...
ImagesIn the foxhole
An Estonian soldier watches for the enemy during a Saber...


Web Views
245
Downloads
0

Podcast Hits
0



Public Domain Mark
This work, In the foxhole, by SrA Jonathan Stefanko, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:06.11.2014

Date Posted:06.15.2014 15:50

Location:ADAZI TRAINING AREA, RIX, LV

Options

  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard

HOLIDAY GREETINGS

SELECT A HOLIDAY:

VIDEO ON DEMAND

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr