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    116th CBCT Blazes a path to Saber Guardian 16



    Story by Pfc. Jessica Pauley 

    116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team

    CINCU, Romania—They packed their duffle bags and traveled more than 5,800 miles from Boise, Idaho to the Romanian Land Force Combat Training Center in Cincu, Romania. They hauled with them tanks, helicopters, and several tons of military equipment for a mission to collaborate with the other Soldiers from nine different nations.

    Soldiers with the 116th Calvary Brigade Combat Team (CBCT), Idaho Army National Guard, are taking part in the Saber Guardian Exercise that began July 27, 2016.

    Saber Guardian is a multinational military training exercise involving almost 2,800 military personnel from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania, Ukraine and the United States.

    As a part of the U.S. European Command Joint Exercise Program, Saber Guardian is designed to enhance interoperability among the participants by training them to successfully operate in a joint environment.

    The exercise has been running for three years, but this is the first time the 116th CBCT Soldiers have been invited to participate.

    This training opportunity allows Soldiers who may have never left the country a unique chance to interact with military members from other nations, and to observe the differences in culture, language and terrain they may encounter during a future deployment.

    Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Kadavy, director of the Army National Guard, discussed the importance of incorporating the National Guard soldiers into a multinational exercise.

    “It’s about our Soldiers coming out here and getting some realistic training in an area they don’t usually get to train in,” said Kadavy. “With the resources the Army is providing us, I think we can achieve a level of readiness that enables us to [...] help the joint force fight and win our nation’s wars.”

    Kadavy said the National Guard should to be ready to supplement the active duty components when necessary. For major exercises like Saber Guardian, the Army has certain capability needs that can be fulfilled by the National Guard Soldiers.

    “The Army, as it gets smaller, is going to need each and every Soldier in each and every unit,” said Kadavy. “The 116th is a tremendous unit and they’ve done a great job.”

    The exercise involves field training in scenarios that are simulated by Soldiers and their command in the most accurate way possible. The tactical training allows Soldiers to battle each other as if in real combat. They perform full-scale tasks like live artillery fire all the way down to smaller scale tasks such as cleaning and weapons’ maintenance.

    Col. Farin D. Schwartz, commander of the 116th CBCT, said that the training during Saber Guardian has been focused on combat operations.

    “We’re executing movement to contact, attack and defend,” said Schwartz. “This exercise also provides an excellent opportunity for us to practice mobilizing and deploying in an expeditionary manner.”

    Since receiving the invitation to participate in Saber Guardian in November 2015, the logistics team has been very successful in coordinating the movement of hundreds of troops and tons of equipment from their home units to the Romanian training center, nearly 6,000 miles away.

    The Romanian soldiers hosting the exercise often train in combat training centers in Europe, specifically Germany, said Schwartz.

    “The Romanians are excellent allies,” he said. “They’ve been very impressive in their ability to integrate themselves. They practice the United States doctrine and are very proficient at what we do.”

    Likewise, the National Guard understands the importance of training and integration, having only 39 training days a year to be as proficient as the active Army in an exercise like Saber Guardian, Schwartz said.

    “The men and women here with the 116th are really trendsetters and blazed a path for others to follow,” Schwartz said. “It doesn’t mater what component you are, regular Army or National Guard, we all integrate and we all have the capabilities to execute any mission that is given to us.”



    Date Taken: 08.05.2016
    Date Posted: 08.05.2016 10:19
    Story ID: 206199
    Location: CINCU, RO
    Hometown: BOISE, ID, US

    Web Views: 253
    Downloads: 1