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    5-4 ADA Conducts Saber Strike 2024 Fire Support Coordination Exercise

    BEMOWO PISKIE TRAINING AREA, Poland — Charlie Battery, 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, conducted live-fire exercises with NATO allies as part of Saber Strike 2024.

    From April 21 to 22, the 5-4 ADA, alongside the Romanian “Sky Defenders” air defense unit, engaged aerial targets side by side. The fire support coordination exercise, a live-fire exercise, was designed to incorporate direct fire, indirect fire, air defense, and attack aviation, involving multiple NATO allies and partners. This exercise developed integrated air and missile defense and provided an opportunity to showcase the U.S. Army’s newest air defense platform, the M-SHORAD, with its multiple capabilities to support maneuver forces.

    “Our mission during this exercise was to enhance our tactical interoperability while also forging new personal and professional relationships with our NATO allies,” said U.S. Army Capt. Paul Zavislak, Charlie Battery 5-4 commander. “There were many opportunities that tested interoperability during this exercise. But that’s why we train this way, as by training together in a tough and realistic environment we improve our capabilities.”

    In addition to developing integrated air and missile defense with NATO allies, the exercise provided an opportunity to showcase the U.S. Army’s most modern short-range air defense capability. Not only does the M-SHORAD have increased maneuverability compared to previous short-range air defense platforms, but it can also fire Stinger missiles, 30 mm rounds, or 7.62 mm rounds to provide protection and support to ground forces from aerial threats.

    “For us, engaging the targets with our Gepard and the M-SHORAD was a new experience. We enjoyed working together with other air defenders,” said Romanian Lt. Alexandru, spokesperson for the Romanian air defense.

    This was the first time in history that the M-SHORAD and the Romanian Gepard fired together. The Gepard is a German-designed anti-air vehicle that fires multiple 35 mm cannons to engage and destroy aerial threats. A challenge from the live fire was how to share information and data rapidly and accurately to ensure an accurate understanding of aerial targets.

    “It was a challenge at first just because of the language barrier and different platforms, but we worked through it and now have a much better understanding of each other’s capabilities and how to best work together to ensure we are hitting the right targets with the right ammunition at the right time,” said Zavislak.

    Building interoperability didn’t stop at the firing line at the range. Soldiers from the Romanian, Spanish, U.S., and Italian armies all shared meals, swapped patches, and exchanged stories about what it's like to serve in their respective armies.

    “It was amazing to talk about what life is like as a Romanian air defender with our Romanian allies. We were able to share our experiences, and we found that although we have different systems, we often face similar challenges, and that brought us closer together,” said Zavislak.

    Exercising in tough, realistic environments and overcoming challenges together is crucial to building integrated air and missile defense. No one country can do air defense alone; it takes investments, efforts, and training by every NATO nation. The soldiers of Charlie Battery and the Romanian “Sky Defenders” forged friendships that will continue long beyond the conclusion of Saber Strike and Defender 24.



    Date Taken: 04.25.2024
    Date Posted: 04.25.2024 04:22
    Story ID: 469471
    Location: PL

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