WIESBADEN, Germany -- Moving a Soldier from one location to another can be a relatively simple task, but when real-world events arise and an entire unit is called to action, not to mention hundreds of pieces of equipment, how does Army Europe stay ready?
'Freedom Shock' is Army Europe's commanding general's program to train, validate and sustain Army Europe's readiness.
It includes unannounced Deployment Readiness Exercises (DRE), telephonic phone alerts, and musters in order to enable commanders to train, mobilize and deploy their units at a moment's notice anywhere in the European area of operations in support of the CG's Strong Europe construct.
Freedom Shock events allow Army Europe to assure, deter and win in a complex world. Strong Europe ensures U.S. Army land power reinforces NATO's Connected Forces Initiative by focusing on building readiness and enabling the NATO alliance through training, exercises and operations.
The Strong Europe campaign, along with increasing freedom of movement by forces across the alliance, improves NATO interoperability and adaptation, which are persistent goals within the Freedom Shock program, and directly support Army Europe and U.S. European Command's Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Recent examples of Freedom Shock events include: a short notice movement of a 173rd Airborne Brigade company to Romania, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade DRE training with U.S. Air Force aircraft, and a 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command no-notice move of a Patriot Battery to Poland.
In October last year, a company sized DRE from the 173rd ABN rapidly deployed to Romania. In less than two days the paratroopers were packed up, had drawn weapons, secured chutes and were headed to Romania on an Air Force C-130 Hercules.
"We started with a warning order at (6 a.m.)," said Maj. Matthew Work, the brigade's executive officer, referring to the surprise notification. "This is part of building the readiness culture we have in the 173rd (Airborne Brigade), and building upon what we've been asked to do for U.S. Army Europe in expanding our DRE capability."
In December of last year, the 1-214th Aviation Regiment, 12th CAB, was also 'shocked' into action. The unit, alongside Soldiers and Airmen from Sweden and Hungary, loaded equipment into a C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane, including a handful of UH-60 Blackhawks and cargo at Clay Kaserne in Wiesbaden, Germany. The Soldiers and equipment were then rapidly flown to a training site in Poland, over 700 kilometers away.
The 10th AAMDC is currently executing a Freedom Shock with a no-notice deployment of a Patriot Battery to Poland that will participate in a week-long combined air and missile defense exercise.
"Being in Poland provides our Soldiers an enormous training opportunity and 10th AAMDC is committed to this cooperative effort with our Polish allies," said Col. Greg Brady, commander, 10th AAMDC. "This exercise also highlights our high state of readiness by demonstrating our rapid deployment capability to defend strategic assets within the alliance."
Future Freedom Shock events will see Army Europe forces rapidly mobilizing and deploying to anywhere within the European Command area of responsibility.
Not only are these unique exercises a way the U.S. demonstrates its commitment to regional security, they reinforce strong bonds with participating nations, demonstrate the unparalleled training Army Europe Soldiers receive, and professionally develop Soldiers and their leadership.
About Us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51-country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships built during the more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events, held in more than 40 countries each year, lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.