ZARAGOZA, Spain (Nov. 6, 2015) -- The 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, or CAB, deployed more than 180 Soldiers and completed missions including close combat attack, air assaults, slingloads, and downed aircraft recovery training, refueling and air-to-ground operations and the integration of joint multi-national elements, in support of Exercise Trident Juncture 15, which concluded Nov. 5.
The 1-3 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion led the task force in support of the mission command element, with support from 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment and 4-3 Assault Helicopter Battalion. This training validated the 12th CAB's ability to deliver expeditionary aviation support to multiple partner nations.
"We're here to support our NATO allies and show our capabilities and what we can bring to the fight," said Warrant Officer Michael Dinicola, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter pilot with Hotel Company, 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment, 12th CAB.
The exercise involved 36,000 participants from more than 30 nations throughout Spain, Italy, Portugal, Canada, Norway, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Trident Juncture demonstrated NATO's new increased level of ambition in joint modern warfare to showcase a capable, forward leaning alliance equipped with the appropriate capability and capacity to meet present and future security challenges. More than 12 major international organizations, aid agencies and nongovernmental organizations, such as the European Union and African Union also participated in the exercise, demonstrating NATO's commitment and contribution to a comprehensive approach.
"Gen. Hodges continually reinforces the idea that USAREUR [U.S. Army Europe] must make 30,000 Soldiers look like 300,000," said Cpt. Denis Alfin, exercise lead planner from 12th CAB. "12th CAB has done the exact same thing with our aircraft and crews in this exercise, maximizing their support to our NATO partners."
12th CAB's participation in Trident Juncture demonstrates the brigade's ability to continue to conduct expeditionary aviation operations in support of our NATO allies. The exercise not only demonstrates the brigade's ability to continue to operate with multinational partners, but also the "heel-to-toe" nature of the outgoing rotational aviation unit in its last weeks in Europe.