KOPER, Slovenia-U.S. Soldiers with the 5th Battalion 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment arrived in waves to Koper, Slovenia May 28 to set up communications equipment and Patriot Missile Defense Systems for the joint exercise Astral Knight 19.

Astral Knight 19 is a multinational combined exercise designed to test integrated air and missile defense capabilities. The exercise involves a combination of flight operations and computer-assisted scenarios.

This is the first exercise of its kind sponsored by the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and includes U.S. Army and members of the Slovenian, Croatian and Italian forces.

The exercise takes place in Koper and Divaca, Slovenia as well as locations around Germany, Italy and the Republic of Croatia.

"The overall goal of the exercise is interoperability with our allies," said Lt. Sang Han, fire control platoon leader with A Company, 5-7 ADA. "Being here to represent our support is an awesome opportunity."