Exercise Saber Strike 2012

Monday June 18, 2012

What is it?

Saber Strike is a multi-national, joint exercise conducted in Latvia and Estonia. It is led by U.S. Army Europe and held from June 10-22, 2012. The Saber Strike exercise was developed to improve coalition interoperability, enhance the combat readiness of all participants, and facilitate a professional exchange with our NATO partners. By providing this training opportunity for U.S. Forces with our partners in the Baltic region, we get a chance to train on important combat tasks alongside of Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonia forces.

The exercise focus is on interoperability at the tactical level. Training on mission command is accomplished by conducting a combined-staff brigade-level command post exercise. Countries involved in the command post exercise (CPX) include: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, France, the United Kingdom and the U.S. combined tactical training is conducted as well with a field training exercise and a situational training exercise component. Countries involved in the field training exercise (FTX) and situational training exercise (STX) include: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Canada, Finland and the United States.

United States units participating come from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command out of Kaiserslautern, Germany, 2nd Cavalry Regiment out of Vilseck, Germany, and a Stryker company from the Pennsylvania National Guard. Additionally, a company of Marines from the 4th Marine Division and elements of the Michigan and Washington Air National Guards are also participating.

What has the Army done?

USAREUR has worked with the Baltic State allies to develop this joint training opportunity for U.S. Forces to train with our partners. The Saber Strike has become a model of exercise cooperation that USAREUR has exported to other European regions.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The Saber Strike exercise program is part of a multi-year commitment to the Baltic states military training programs. The exercise is designed to rotate between the countries. The first year, 2011, it was hosted by Latvia. This year it is hosted by Estonia, and next year it will be hosted by Lithuania.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian militaries have contributed greatly to the Afghanistan International Security Assistance Force, the Kosovo Force, and other international operations. Portions of the Northern Distribution Network, which supplies troops in Afghanistan, traverses through these countries. Maintaining strong military relationships with the Baltic States is important to strengthen the strategic bonds that facilitate diplomacy at the national level.

Resources:

Saber Strike webpage
U.S. Army Europe
Army.mil: Europe News
USAREUR images on Flickr
Joint Multinational Training Command
Related article: During Saber Strike, Baltic countries train with U.S., U.K., Canada

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