Saber Strike 18 is a multinational exercise taking place in the Drawsko Promorskie training area of Poland with the overall intent to strengthen our relationships with allies and bolster our regional defense posture. Through opposition force training, convoy operations and full scale mobilizations of weaponry such as the Patriot missile system, these exercises offer many vital logistical battle scenarios that foster invaluable training opportunities for service members.

The 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Regiment from Baumholder, Germany, has chosen to take the exercise a step further by assuming full-speed deployment tempo throughout Saber Strike. They have mobilized several Patriot Missile systems and created a full-scale defense posture in the Drawsko Promoskie training area. This area has been off limits to anyone not a part of the U.S. Armed Forces, until now.

For the first time, the Polish Land Forces were invited to attend a verbal demonstration of the Patriot missile system. The two Air Defense Artillery Officers, Cpt. Grzegorz Piskiewcz and Maj. Ireneusz Zarzycki, were excited and eager to get an up close and personal look at the weaponry being displayed at this year's exercise.

"I think the most important factor is to build mutual trust and cooperation between our countries," said Cpt. Grzegroz Piskiewcz of the Polish Air Defense Command, 12th Mechanized Division.

The Patriot missile systems are produced by U.S. defense contractor Raytheon. The name of the weapons system is derived from the radar component of the system. The radar at the heart of the system is known as the "Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept On Target," which is an acronym for PATRIOT. This system replaced the Nike Hercules system which was the U.S. Army's previous primary high to medium air defense system (HIMAD).

The Polish ADA Officers received instruction from several members of the command staff and qualified members of the artillery battalion including Brig. Gen. Timothy Sheriff, the deputy commanding general of the 263rd Army Air Missile Defense Command from South Carolina. Additionally, they spoke with Sgt. 1st Class Paige Shelton from the 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Regiment from Baumholder, Germany. Shelton is a master gunner in the battalion and facilitated additional verbal demonstration for the Polish ADA officers.

Saber Strike offers many multinational military tactic strengthening opportunities, including defense posture reinforcement and European ally dedication reassurance.