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    Allies train for better maneuver capabilities at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area during Saber Strike 15

    Allies train for better maneuver capabilities at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area during Saber Strike 15

    Photo By Sgt. Brandon Anderson | German Lt. Col. Marc Cropp, the commander of Jaeger Battalion 291, leads a discussion...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Brandon Anderson 

    13th Public Affairs Detachment

    DRAWSKO POMORKIE, Poland — In the heat of battle, the ability to maneuver quickly while engaging the enemy is critical to the success of the mission. However, moving quickly while working with different militaries presents its own set of difficulties.

    This is the scenario being played out on the Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area during a situational training exercise between U.S. Marines, German and Danish militaries June 9, 2015 during Saber Strike 15.

    Saber Strike 15 is a long-standing U.S. Army Europe-led cooperative training exercise. This year’s exercise objectives facilitate cooperation amongst the U.S., Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to improve joint operational capability in a range of missions as well as preparing the participating nations and units to support multinational contingency operations. There are more than 6,000 participants from 13 different nations.

    During the training, members of the German, Danish and U.S. militaries were faced with a dug-in enemy guarding the rear of their force. Using Leopard 2A5 Main Battle Tanks of the Dragoon Regiment, 1st Armored Battalion, 1st Danish Tank Squadron, as well as Boxer Multi-Role Armored Vehicles of the German army's Jaeger Battalion 291, the allies broke through the enemy line.

    German Lt. Col. Marc Cropp, commander of Jaeger Battalion 291, said the 291 had to maneuver over rugged terrain while facing ambushes while the Danish Tank Battalion was fighting its way through a mine field, and linking up at a predetermined point on the battlefield.

    “Having tanks and infantry working together isn't very easy,” said Cropp. “Add the Danish tank battalion and surprisingly it worked out really really well.”

    Cropp said he was impressed by the leadership of his company commander for being able to incorporate the joint-fires support element provided by three Marines of the 4th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company.

    “I was really astonished by the work my company commander did, as he integrated the marines for joint-fires support well,” he said “so I'm really proud of the results of this attack and combined effort.”

    U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. James Winters, the fire control team leader for the 4th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, said he was pleased by the level of professionalism displayed during the exercise, as well as all the joint training he's participated in since arriving here.

    “So far the training has been really good,” said Winters. “The German forces have been very hospitable by supplying us with everything we've needed as well as sharing their field rations with us.”

    He went on to say that working with the Polish Joint Terminal Attack Control soldiers was impressive, as they were critical in getting their credentials needed for the exercise as well as helping the Marines become familiar with the Polish fighter pilot's tactics.

    “We got to work with a couple of the Polish Special Operation Forces and learn their tactics and equipment,” said Winters. “I thought the Polish F-16 Fighter Pilots that we worked with yesterday were spot on when we were using them yesterday.”

    Winters went on to say training in the unfamiliar terrain of the training area was new for him, as he and his team are used to conducting most of their training at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms located in the California desert.

    “Today is a great example of what I call the friction of war, because you're in unfamiliar terrain,” said Winters. “We don't get to train very often in the wooded European environment, so it was very difficult for us in trying to maintain situational awareness as well as the language barriers between the forces.”

    Winter said the members of his team were grateful to have the opportunity to work in this type of environment as well work with the members of the allied forces.

    Winters and his team will have many opportunities to work with other allies, as the training exercise of Saber Strike will continue through the following week.



    Date Taken: 06.09.2015
    Date Posted: 06.09.2015 13:45
    Story ID: 165976

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