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    Platoon of Stryker troops, vehicles arrives in Lithuania for Saber Strike 2015 exercise

    Platoon of Stryker troops, vehicles arrives in Lithuania for Saber Strike 2015 exercise

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Roles | A Stryker vehicle from the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team passes a gas station north...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Doug Roles 

    28th Infantry Division

    VILNIUS, Lithuania - A platoon of soldiers from the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, arrived in Lithuania today with four Stryker vehicles for their part in this year’s Saber Strike exercise. Over the next two weeks they will conduct field training with a Lithuanian Army infantry company, building on the experience of similar training events in recent years.

    The soldiers, from 2nd Platoon, Troop A, 2-104th Cavalry, from Hazelton, Pennsylvania, arrived at Vilnius International Airport via two C-17 cargo planes. Exercise leaders and a pool of Lithuanian journalists were on hand to greet the troopers.

    “The arrival of these soldiers cements our relationship, a 23-year relationship, between the state of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania National Guard and Lithuania and the Lithuanian Army,” said Brig. Gen. George Schwartz, the assistant adjutant general of Pennsylvania who is serving as deputy director for the exercise.

    The 2-104th soldiers will train from a base at Rukla, northwest of Vilnius. More than 60 division soldiers have spent the past week at Nemencine training area working alongside soldiers from Lithuania, Denmark, Latvia and Estonia in the command post portion of the exercise. The arrival of the cavalry troopers brings the number of Pennsylvania Army National Guard soldiers in Lithuania to nearly 90.

    Forty Lithuanian soldiers are training at Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania as part of an exchange program. The goal of the Saber Strike exercise is to increase military interoperability between the participating nations.

    “We’re very glad to be here. It’s our fifth year in a row for Saber Strike and we look forward to a good exercise and some good training,” Schwartz said.

    The partnership between Pennsylvania and Lithuania was established in 1993. Since then, more than 500 exchanges and trainings have been conducted covering topics such as noncommissioned officer professional development, defense support to civil authorities and recruitment.

    Saber Strike is part of the ongoing U.S. Army Europe’s Saber Strike exercise program. Nations participating in this year’s training include: Lithuania, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Germany, Portugal, United Kingdom, France, Poland and Norway.



    Date Taken: 06.06.2015
    Date Posted: 06.07.2015 02:30
    Story ID: 165764
    Location: VILNIUS, LT 

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