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    Saber Guardian Culminates with Wet Gap Crossing of the Danube River in Romania

    Saber Guardian 19 Distinguished Visitors Showcase

    Photo By Spc. Christopher Estrada | Romanian Land Vehicles cross a ribbon bridge during a showcase of interoperability...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Joe Legros 

    126th Public Affairs Operations Center

    Saber Guardian 2019 unleashed its culminating event in Bordusani, Romania after more than three weeks of land, sea and air force exercises involving 15 NATO partners and allies.

    Participants included Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Georgia, Italy, Moldova, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and the United States. Nearly 13,400 service members from those countries participated in various exercises throughout June, with Romania hosting military operations in 11 different cities.

    “For me it was a great opportunity to work with such a team,” shared Romanian Capt. Mariana Dinu, Saber Guardian commander of the Media Operations Center in Cincu, Romania. “Behind a huge effort, hard work and many hours of production, I saw so much professionalism and dedication.”

    "The smile on their faces, even when they were tired, was the definition of good teamwork," added Dinu.

    While Cincu represents one of the many host cities throughout Romania, Bordusani has always been the final destination for the summer military exercises.

    On Saturday, June 22, 2019, distinguished visitors, civilian and military media outlets witnessed an opposed wet gap crossing over the Danube River. U.S. Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli and Romanian Joint Force Commander Maj. Gen. Dorin Ionita had front row seats for the event.

    Working under an unrelenting sun with a blistering 94 degrees Fahrenheit, service members made final preparations for the technically challenging river crossing. Heavy machinery, personnel carriers and tanks were scheduled to cross.

    All was quiet until the Romanian 72nd Engineer Battalion, 10th Engineer Brigade called friendly forces forward at approximately 11 a.m. On cue, the Romanian air force engaged enemy targets on the far side of the bridge.

    The Romanian Naval Artillery and the 325th Field Artillery Battalion provided support by fire as Romanian Puma SOCAT helicopters gave close air support.

    Meanwhile, allied force Chinooks sling loaded and delivered the final piece of the bridge, allowing ground forces to cross. A follow-on convoy of American and allied military vehicles crossed the floating bridge while air force MiGs, F16s, Apaches and Blackhawks soared through the sky offering support.

    Additionally, Romanian infantry marines patrolled the Danube on zodiac inflatable boats, countering simulated opposing force attacks. They performed strafing runs along the riverside with bigger gunships adding extra intimidation.

    This combined demonstration of land, air and sea lethality was something to behold.

    “The sheer amount of coordination to organize an opposed wet gap crossing is significant,” said Lt. Col. Philip Baker, Operations Officer for the 141 Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.

    The event ended with all opposing forces neutralized and a successful wet gap crossing by friendly forces. But so much more happened behind the scenes, from the planning stages to the execution of the exercise, requiring a tremendous amount of interoperability among participating nations.

    “This was a peak of joint military training conducted at the last period of exercise Saber Guardian,” added Lt. Col. Dan Crisan, Public Affairs Officer for all Romanian Land Forces. “A huge effort of our soldiers showed all these capabilities.”

    “No matter how complicated or complex the operational environment, Saber Guardian created an integrated and sophisticated military mechanism that is able to complete the mission.”

    Mission complete.



    Date Taken: 06.22.2019
    Date Posted: 06.22.2019 21:22
    Story ID: 328802
    Location: BORDUSANI, RO

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