CINCU, Romania - The President of Romania Klaus W. Iohannis, Romania's Minister of Defense Adrian Tutuianu, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. James McConville and many other distinguished visitors, came together to observe NATO Allies and partners demonstrate the lethality of their ground and air forces to rapidly respond to any potential adversary.
During the final phase of Getica Saber 17, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, took command of the Combined Arms Live-Fire Exercise at the Joint National Training Center in Cincu, Romania, July 15, 2017. This U.S. European Command, U.S Army Europe-led exercise incorporated six Allied and partner nations with more than 4,000 Soldiers on ground.
"U.S. Army Europe is doing a fantastic job of supporting NATO's mission in Europe and this exercise is an example of that," said Gen. McConville. "We have multiple units here in Romania improving their (combat) readiness every day and units working with our coalition partners building interoperability, which makes us a stronger coalition."
"The training taking place here is making a significant contribution to a strong Europe," he added.
The task force comprised of Armenian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Romanian, Ukrainian, and U.S. Soldiers, demonstrated their collective commitment to regional stability and security, while strengthening partnered capabilities among each participating nation.
The CALFEX was a simulated scenario where European countries were attacked by a near-peer adversary with the intention to gain control over the economic activities in the Black Sea Region. The combined forces defended the region with infantry soldiers; Croatian, Romanian and U.S. tanks; fighting vehicles; Romanian and U.S. artillery and Romanian fighter jets providing close air support.
"Our contribution is about adding strength," said McConville. "When our adversaries see an Armored Brigade Combat Team here, they know we're committed and they know we have the capabilities to support our coalition partners."
After the Romanian President, Romanian Minister of Defense and multinational military delegates witnessed the unified capabilities of the task force, 3rd ABCT had one last traditional event in store before the "Iron Brigade" could close out Getica Saber 17.
The "Iron Brigade" said farewell to their commander Col. Christopher Norrie and welcomed their incoming commander Col. Michael Simmering during the change of command ceremony just hours after completing a successful CALFEX.
While giving a speech to the 3rd ABCT formation, an emotional Norrie took the time express his gratitude for all the hard work his Soldiers did under his command.
"This is the greatest Army in the world because we have the greatest Soldiers in the world," he proclaimed. "I just want to say thank you for all of your time, for your service, we've asked so much of you and you always responded. I am so impressed, honored and privileged to command this Brigade and I'm a better person because of all of you."
Col. Simmering and 3rd ABCT will continue their Operation Atlantic Resolve rotation in Eastern Europe with the upcoming exercise, Combined Resolve IX at Grafenwoehr, Germany.