HOHENFELS, Germany -- Soldiers from the Turkish 1st Commando Brigade joined American and Italian paratroopers in parachuting into the Hohenfels training area Sept. 18. The airborne assault was part of Saber Junction 19 which involves nearly 5,400 participants from 16 ally and partner nations of NATO.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Andrew Rohling, the U.S. Army Europe deputy commanding general, and Turkish Brig. Gen. Özgür Nuhut, the 14 Mechanized Infantry Brigade commander met with the Turkish paratroopers on the Hohenfels drop zone after they took part in the joint airborne assault.

Maj. Michael Linnington Jr., the Military Liaison to the Turkish Ministry of National Defense, explained this was first time Turkish Soldiers participated in Saber Junction.

"The United States and Turkey have the two largest land forces in NATO and therefore, a strong U.S. -Turkey land force relationship is not only important for both countries, but to the NATO alliance," said Linnington.

The participation of both countries in this exercise helps to develop trust, build working relationships and establish effective communication with each other.

"This joint training is important for an enduring training relationship between the U.S. and Turkey," Linnington said.