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    Airborne troops kick off multi-national exercise in Germany

    Saber Junction 16

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Praxedis Pineda | Soldiers with the U.S. Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade, out of Italy, practice their...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Elizabeth Pena 

    100th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    HOHENFELS, Germany - This month, nearly 5,000 service members from 16 NATO and European partner nations kicked off exercise Saber Junction 16, held at the U.S. Army Europe's Hohenfels Training Area in southeastern Germany.

    During the exercise, held between March 31- April 24, Saber Junction 16 will evaluate and certify the mission readiness of the U.S. Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade to conduct land operations in a joint combined environment and to promote interoperability with Allied and partner nations.

    "Saber Junction is extremely important for the brigade and battalion company because it's by far the largest training event we have for this year," said Cpt. Ashish Patel, commander of HHC, 54th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade, based at Carmen Del Din, Vicenza, Italy. "It involves everybody from every single unit coming to one major mission and objective for a good three weeks for training."

    Countries participating include Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

    Saber Junction 16 emphasizes international cooperation and partnerships, reinforced by the multi-national airborne operation within maneuver rights areas outside of the Hohenfels Training Area scheduled for April 12. This means paratroopers, with the support of the international community, will be landing on host nation land.

    "The biggest thing that stands out with Saber Junction is the fact that we are able to work with our allied partners," said Sgt. 1st Class Olatungi Messa Observer Coach Training for the CBRNE Reconnaissance. "That's very important, if we are going to work together and deploy together and possibly have to fight together then the best thing is to train together so that way we all understand how to fight as one."

    During the multinational decisive action training exercise, service members have a chance to share experience and knowledge.

    "I am here with my team, combined with Bulgaria and the U.S. guys, as a part of joint special operations task force supporting the conventional troops who are coming later on," said 1st. Lt. Adrano Muca, the chief of staff for the Albania Special Forces Battalion. "It's an experience exchange, to take the better part of them and give the best part of us."

    Living and training alongside our allies and partners in Europe helps the U.S. to maintain the relationships and trust that are essential for ensuring European security.

    "As we speak interoperability and being able to fight as one NATO element," said Patel, "these exercises build upon our ability to communicate with each other and be able to operate with each other."



    Date Taken: 04.06.2016
    Date Posted: 04.08.2016 11:57
    Story ID: 194800
    Location: HOHENFELS, DE 

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