• Washington state National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Jason Muzzy, an observer-controller from Company A, 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment, assists an Estonian soldier before the group leaves the motor pool for training at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27,2014. Saber Junction 14 is a large-scale, joint, multinational, annual military exercise, involving hundreds of aircraft and vehicles and thousands of personnel from 16 different nations. The exercise will prepare brigade-level units for worldwide contingency operations.  The exercise further focuses U.S., NATO, and partner forces on concepts such as decisive and sustainable land operations through the simultaneous combination of offensive, defensive and stability operations and on interoperability with partnered nations.

    Estonian army faces OPFOR during Saber Junction 14

    Washington state National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Jason Muzzy, an observer-controller from Company A, 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment, assists an Estonian soldier before the group leaves the motor pool for training at Hohenfels Training Area...

  • Estonian soldiers dismount their vehicle and take a defensive position during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27, 2014. Saber Junction 14 is a large-scale, joint, multinational, annual military exercise, involving hundreds of aircraft and vehicles and thousands of personnel from 16 different nations. The exercise will prepare brigade-level units for worldwide contingency operations. The exercise further focuses U.S., NATO, and partner forces on concepts such as decisive and sustainable land operations through the simultaneous combination of offensive, defensive and stability operations and on interoperability with partnered nations.

    Estonian army faces OPFOR during Saber Junction 14

    Estonian soldiers dismount their vehicle and take a defensive position during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27, 2014. Saber Junction 14 is a large-scale, joint, multinational, annual military...

  • Estonian army Cpl. Albert Benedik of Rakvere, and assigned to the Estonia Scout Battalion, provides security during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27, 2014. Saber Junction 14 is a large-scale, joint, multinational, annual military exercise, involving hundreds of aircraft and vehicles and thousands of personnel from 16 different nations. The exercise will prepare brigade-level units for worldwide contingency operations. The exercise further focuses U.S., NATO, and partner forces on concepts such as decisive and sustainable land operations through the simultaneous combination of offensive, defensive and stability operations and on interoperability with partnered nations.

    Estonian army faces OPFOR during Saber Junction 14

    Estonian army Cpl. Albert Benedik of Rakvere, and assigned to the Estonia Scout Battalion, provides security during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27, 2014. Saber Junction 14 is a large-scale, joint...

  • Estonian soldiers park their vehicles in a staggered formation during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27, 2014. Saber Junction 14 is a large-scale, joint, multinational, annual military exercise, involving hundreds of aircraft and vehicles and thousands of personnel from 16 different nations. The exercise will prepare brigade-level units for worldwide contingency operations.  The exercise further focuses U.S., NATO, and partner forces on concepts such as decisive and sustainable land operations through the simultaneous combination of offensive, defensive and stability operations and on interoperability with partnered nations.

    Estonian Army faces OPFOR during Saber Junction 14

    Estonian soldiers park their vehicles in a staggered formation during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27, 2014. Saber Junction 14 is a large-scale, joint, multinational, annual military exercise...

  • Estonian army Sgt. 1st Class Andrei Kurotskin of Palkiski, and assigned to the Estonia Scout Battalion, provides security during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27, 2014. Saber Junction 14 is a large-scale, joint, multinational, annual military exercise, involving hundreds of aircraft and vehicles and thousands of personnel from 16 different nations. The exercise will prepare brigade-level units for worldwide contingency operations.  The exercise further focuses U.S., NATO, and partner forces on concepts such as decisive and sustainable land operations through the simultaneous combination of offensive, defensive and stability operations and on interoperability with partnered nations.

    Estonian Army faces OPFOR during Saber Junction 14

    Estonian army Sgt. 1st Class Andrei Kurotskin of Palkiski, and assigned to the Estonia Scout Battalion, provides security during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27, 2014. Saber Junction 14 is a...

  • Observer controller Master Sgt. Robert Longacre, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Grizzy team guides an Estonian soldier during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27, 2014. Saber Junction 14 is a large-scale, joint, multinational, annual military exercise, involving hundreds of aircraft and vehicles and thousands of personnel from 16 different nations. The exercise will prepare brigade-level units for worldwide contingency operations.  The exercise further focuses U.S., NATO, and partner forces on concepts such as decisive and sustainable land operations through the simultaneous combination of offensive, defensive and stability operations and on interoperability with partnered nations.

    Estonian Army faces OPFOR during Saber Junction 14

    Observer controller Master Sgt. Robert Longacre, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Grizzy team guides an Estonian soldier during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27, 2014. Saber Junction 14 is a large-scale...

  • Estonian soldiers interact with civilians on the battlefield during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27, 2014. Saber Junction 14 is a large-scale, joint, multinational, annual military exercise, involving hundreds of aircraft and vehicles and thousands of personnel from 16 different nations. The exercise will prepare brigade-level units for worldwide contingency operations.  The exercise further focuses U.S., NATO, and partner forces on concepts such as decisive and sustainable land operations through the simultaneous combination of offensive, defensive and stability operations and on interoperability with partnered nations.

    Estonian Army faces OPFOR during Saber Junction 14

    Estonian soldiers interact with civilians on the battlefield during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27, 2014. Saber Junction 14 is a large-scale, joint, multinational, annual military exercise...

  • An Estonian soldier gives his teammates the direction of fire after coming under attack from opposition forces from 1st Battalion, 4 Infantry Regiment during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27, 2014. Saber Junction 14, is a large-scale, joint, multinational, annual military exercise, involving hundreds of aircraft and vehicles and thousands of personnel from 16 different nations. The exercise will prepare brigade-level units for worldwide contingency operations.  The exercise further focuses U.S., NATO, and partner forces on concepts such as decisive and sustainable land operations through the simultaneous combination of offensive, defensive and stability operations and on interoperability with partnered nations.

    Estonian Army faces OPFOR during Saber Junction 14

    An Estonian soldier gives his teammates the direction of fire after coming under attack from opposition forces from 1st Battalion, 4 Infantry Regiment during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27, 2014...

  • Estonian army Sgt. Janek Huttunen, assigned to the Estonia Scout Battalion, fires at the opposition force soldiers from 1st Battalion, 4 Infantry Regiment during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27, 2014. Saber Junction 14 is a large-scale, joint, multinational, annual military exercise, involving hundreds of aircraft and vehicles and thousands of personnel from 16 different nations. The exercise will prepare brigade-level units for worldwide contingency operations.  The exercise further focuses U.S., NATO, and partner forces on concepts such as decisive and sustainable land operations through the simultaneous combination of offensive, defensive and stability operations and on interoperability with partnered nations.

    Estonian Army faces OPFOR during Saber Junction 14

    Estonian army Sgt. Janek Huttunen, assigned to the Estonia Scout Battalion, fires at the opposition force soldiers from 1st Battalion, 4 Infantry Regiment during an STX (simulated training exercise) lane at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 27...

HOHENFELS, Germany (Aug. 28, 2014) -- The convoy moved toward the objective, interrupted by indirect fire. Parking the vehicles in a staggered formation along the dirt road, soldiers dismounted and provided security in all directions. After moving forward on foot, the platoon ran into civilians on the battlefield, who gave them intelligence on enemy forces in the area.

That information, along with the direction of their objective, took the Estonian army Scout Battalion straight into the cross hairs of the opposition forces, or OPFOR, of 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry, at Hohenfels Training Area, yesterday.

Once through the wood line, the Estonian soldiers reacted to the direct fire by flanking and taking an offensive position, surrounding the enemy. Loud beeps from MILES gear, laser-enabled training aids, let the observer-controllers know that all four of the U.S. Soldiers playing the enemy had been hit. This part of the scenario was over.

After being defeated, OPFOR Soldier Spc. Zach Aguilar of Huntington Beach, California, said, "they did pretty well in their flanking. They got our blind sides."

Although the beginning of Saber Junction 14, a multinational training exercise involving NATO allies and European partners, this wasn't the first time some of the Estonian soldiers had worked with U.S. forces.

"We have been working with the U.S. Army and it's good," said Estonian army Pvt. Alevsanoer Malinouski, of Pareu, Estonia. "It's good to see what others do, and to learn from them."

The Estonians continued with the mission, and moved forward through other obstacles to reach the indirect-fire point of origin, commonly known as the POO site. This is typically where artillery or rockets are fired from the opposition.

Saber Junction 14 is a joint multinational training exercise that enables NATO allies and partners to plan a large-scale operation that takes place in multiple European countries to prepare for real-world contingencies. Exercises such as Saber Junction provide vital opportunities for multiple U.S. service members to train as they fight, which includes integrating with NATO and partner nation forces.

This large-scale partnership, down to the squad-level joint training, ensures national armed forces are interoperable and prepared to maintain regional security and stability.

Page last updated Thu August 28th, 2014 at 00:00