Defense

October 16, 2012

‘Saber Junction’ tests U.S., partners’ interoperability

Elements of U.S. Army Europe’s 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment enter the village Schalkenthan, near Grafenwoehr, Germany, during Saber Junction 2012, Oct. 15, 2012. Saber Junction trains U.S. personnel and 1,800 multinational partners from 18 nations.

At the Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels training areas, and on more than 1,300 square miles in between them, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment is engaging a complex enemy in the exercise dubbed Saber Junction.

The exercise showcases Europe’s unique Decisive Action Training Environment rotation, also known as DATE.

U.S. Army Europe’s Joint Multinational Training Command, or JMTC, is facilitating this realistic training environment for the 2nd Cavalry Regiment using host-nation agreements for the larger maneuver space to facilitate tactics, techniques and procedures for counter-insurgency, wide-area security and combined-arms maneuvers from mid-to-high-intensity conflict.

Off-installation maneuvers are conducted often in neighboring towns between JMTC’s two training areas. Saber Junction is the largest exercise using these areas in conjunction with the Grafenwoehr Training Area and Hohenfels Training Areas, since 1989. The scope of the operations, number of participants, and the variety of European and NATO participants make the training experience unique.

“When you train at other combat training areas stateside, host-nation security forces are often replicated; however, when you train at JMTC’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center, or the [Grafenwoehr Training Area,] units are training with multinational forces, which allows Soldiers to experience the challenges associated with language and culture, in addition to varying terrain features, which are easily available locally,” said Col. Curtis J. Carson, JMTC’s chief of staff.

“Training in Europe allows U.S. and partnered nations to build interoperability of networks and systems, in addition to developing cultural understanding and camaraderie and respect,” Carson said

Soldiers of U.S. Army Europe’s 2nd Calvary Regiment return to their Stryker vehicle after reacting to fire from opposing forces during exercise Saber Junction 2012, Oct. 13, 2012. Saber Junction is a large-scale, joint, multinational, military training event with U.S. Soldiers and more than 1,800 multinational forces.

The unique training environment exposes 2nd Cavalry Regiment to real-life challenges of civilian traffic, civilian authorities and civilians on the battlefield, in addition to the real-world experience of working as a coalition.

“Each participant brings military knowledge and tactical skills, which serves to enhance the capabilities of the others,” said Matthew W. Todd, JMRC exercise planner. “Every exercise builds upon lessons-learned from the previous exercises, allowing training to be modified to enhance the capabilities of the units.”

 




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