TAPA, Estonia - A combined arms live-fire exercise for Saber Strike resulted in a large scale, offensive attack by utilizing the resources of multiple branches of the U.S. military, the British and Estonia Mechanized Infantry and British tanks on a range at Tapa, June 10.
The live-fire exercise was a demonstration of coordination between nations and the heavy impact of combined capabilities. Saber Strike is a U.S. Army Europe-led multinational combined forces training exercise in the Baltic region. The exercise tests the capability of multiple nations to act against a threat.
U.S. Army 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, demonstrated by firing the Apache helicopters. An overflight by aircraft, two Apache helicopters and the B-52 Stratofortess followed.
U.S. Army Apache helicopters, piloted by Soldiers in 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, flew in to neutralize armored forces and aid in the elimination of mechanized forces. British tanks moved forward on the battlefield, then engineers, from the Estonian Defence Forces, conducted an area breach, allowing tanks to push through.
Light armored reconnaissance vehicles opened fire downrange to destroy remaining mechanized forces. A combined anti-armor team composed of Estonian and British Soldiers conducted an attack with the 50-caliber machine gun and M41 Saber system with TOW 2B anti-tank missile. The British Mechanized Infantry cleared the objective area of all remaining enemy infantry on the battlefield. All forces maneuvered south to establish a blocking position from the continued interference from enemy forces.
With the conclusion of the live-fire, the causalities being treated were medically evacuated by the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade.
Maj. Gen. Neal Loidolt, assistant adjutant general for the Minnesota National Guard, St. Paul, Minn. and exercise director of Saber Strike 17, and Estonian Gen. Riho Terras, commander of Estonian defence forces were present for the demonstration, as well as other senior military leaders and media.
Loidolt remarked on the importance of the NATO Allies coming together for the Exercise Saber Strike and training in the terrain for experience.
"The demonstration today is a smaller piece of the overall exercise Saber Strike 17, which is designed to show our inoperability with allies and partner nations in the terrain we might be called into at some future point. So that we can work on the challenges related to interoperability, communication and tatics" said Loidolt. "Today we were able to witness a fairly complex operation that was conducted completely flawless with no injuries or incident completely as planned."
As the Estonian general remarked on the importance of Allies working together and the support of working together, he was grateful for the support of the U.S. to Estonia.
"Exercise Saber Strike gives possibility for allies to work together to exercise inoperability," said Terras. "We are very grateful for the support of the U.S. led exercise and the assets brought in are remarkable, if you want to train in the real environment you need the assets to be used. We need to train for real case scenario and this exercise brought the different NATO countries together to experience working together."