VAZIANI TRAINING AREA, Georgia -- Paratroopers assigned to 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade are busy at Exercise Noble Partner 16 putting their skills to the test back in the Georgian hills at Vaziani Training Area.

The paratroopers conducted live-fire training, May 16, raining down 105mm rounds onto practice targets kilometers away but still close enough to hear the rounds impact more than 10 seconds after firing.

Each of the three firing teams consisted of a handful of paratroopers, some with more than a decade of experience, some with mere months.

Private Robert Logan is the youngest in his company and said he is ecstatic about being able to train at Noble Partner.

"I love it," said Logan. "I joined the Army to shoot big guns, jumping out of planes and go to other countries."

The more senior leaders on the team say that the exercise is an excellent way for junior Soldiers to develop their leadership skills, especially while training with other nations far from their own backyard.

Staff Sgt. Michael Hinton, a section chief with Battery 'Bull,' explains that not only are these exercises enjoyable for him personally, but it is a fantastic opportunity come and empower junior leaders and Soldiers.

"Coming out to these training areas in different location [allows us] more time to focus on training Soldiers," Hinton said.

Exercise Noble Parter 16 also includes Soldiers from 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, soldiers from Georgia's 4th Mechanized Brigade and soldiers from the United Kingdom's 3d Rifles.

In addition, participation includes three C-130 "Hercules" aircraft from the 165 Airlift Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, Garden City, Ga.

Exercise Noble Partner includes approximately 500 Georgian, 150 United Kingdom and 650 U.S. service members who are incorporating a full range of equipment, including U.S. M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks, Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, M119 Light Towed Howitzers and several wheeled support vehicles.

The exercise is taking place, May 11 - 26, and includes three main portions; a situational-training exercise, a field-training exercise and a live-fire exercise.

Noble Partner 16 enhances mutual abilities between the United States, United Kingdom and Georgia to work together with other NATO nations and with key regional partners on regional security.

--

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.