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    Saber Guardian STX lanes: silent but deadly

    In the first four days, Saber Guardian hosted a number of situational training exercise (STX) lanes. For this exercise, the situation will be a combination of mechanized and ground engagements. Nations will be separated into BLUFOR or OPFOR teams and utilize multiple integrated laser engagement system (MILES) gear to engage each other with imaginary, silent laser ammunition.

    MILES gear equips soldiers and their vehicles with highly sensitive sensors that trigger alarms and notify the wearer they have been hit or even killed when zapped by an opponent’s laser. This gear provides realistic combat simulations and there are variations for every piece of equipment the military uses to ensure every asset is at risk during the laser warfare.

    “The MILES gear provides a realistic force on force training opportunity,” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Thacker, a dismounted squad leader with Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. “This realistic training gives our guys an idea of what they need to work on, what skills they need to develop and what they are proficient at.”

    Monitoring the STX lanes on the first two days were both American and Romanian observer controllers / trainers (OC/T). Their job is to orchestrate the battle and potentially create unexpected chaos for both forces, which they will need to overcome in addition to destroying the enemy.

    STX lanes provided a good assessment of each nation’s tactics and allowed them to cooperate to accomplish a set task. Most of the combat for the U.S. Army took place between mechanized vehicles, which includes M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks, M2A3 and M3A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and associated support vehicles.

    “This exercise has been invaluable and our Soldiers have been able to learn a lot from the new terrain and our Romanian counterparts,” said Capt. Woodburn, commander of Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment.

    The exercise was held in a massive section of countryside that was purposely left uninhabited by roads and other common features to aid their movements. Mechanized vehicles work best without obstructions so this challenged the participants to utilize and overcome the terrain if they wanted to be victorious.

    “The most challenging aspect of the STX lanes, especially after the heavy rains, is definitely the terrain,” said Capt. Christopher Miller, commander of Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team from Ontario, Ore. “This environment is nothing like what our guys are used to seeing so it provides a great training experience since our camouflage does not exactly fit in.”

    The rain and mud are challenges for the 116th soldiers, whereas the Romanian soldiers are experienced in this type of environment which allowed them to provide useful tips to their American counterparts.

    Many of the American soldiers participating in STX lanes felt that working with their Romanian counterparts has been a great learning experience and opportunity that most will never get another chance to do.

    Saber Guardian is part of U.S. European Command’s Joint Exercise Program designed to enhance joint, combined interoperability with allied and partner nations. The exercise supports interoperability among the United States, Romania, NATO Allies and Partnership for Peace nations.

    This military exercise involved approximately 2,800 military personnel from ten nations including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Ukraine and the U.S.

    The objectives of this exercise are to build multinational, regional and joint partnership capacity by enhancing military relationships, exchanging professional experiences, and improving interoperability between the land forces from the participating countries.



    Date Taken: 07.29.2016
    Date Posted: 07.31.2016 14:03
    Story ID: 205607
    Location: CINCU, RO

    Web Views: 87
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