HOHENFELS TRAINING AREA, Germany -- The 2nd Battalion, 34th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division from Fort Riley, Kansas, participated in Allied Spirit X, a multinational exercise designed to develop and enhance NATO and key partner interoperability and readiness across specified warfighting functions, here, March 30 - Apr. 17, 2019.

"For Allied Spirit X, our battalion is going to deploy out into the field as part of the combination of allied nations throughout Europe," said U.S. Army Maj. Widmar Roman, operations officer with 2nd Bn., 34th Armored Regt. "To essentially, conduct offensive and defensive operations in order to work interoperability, to be more proficient at it."

Training regularly with NATO allies and partners ensures the U.S. Army is positioned with credible forces, ready and prepared to respond to potential threats.

"Our battalion brings a lethal combination of armored shock and awe fire power so we can execute both defensive and offensive operations at a high rate of speed with a lot of lethality," U.S. Army Maj. Roman said. "That is part of what we are bringing to the table for the brigade, to enable it to accomplish its mission."

Exercises such as Allied Spirit X send a clear message that the U.S. and its allies skillfully work together for collective defense.

About 5,600 participants from 15 nations are part of exercise Allied Spirit X. Participants come from the NATO ally and partner nations of U.S., Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

"I think it's going to be nice working with the allies," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Moon, fires noncommissioned officer with headquarters, and headquarters company, 2nd Bn., 34th Armored Regt., "We get to see how they perform and it gives us the opportunity to define our tactics, techniques, and procedures with them."

Pursuing interoperability through exercises such as Allied Spirit X by engaging with the militaries of other nations gives U.S. Soldiers the opportunity to learn new skills that further strengthen overmatch and lethality.

"It is good to expose young Soldiers to other nations," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Moon. "So, they can figure out what works for them to use as they further develop their military career."