Saber Strike Co-director Highlights Benefits for Partners
By Army Sgt. Sara Marchus
North Dakota National Guard
ADAZI, Latvia, June 23, 2014 Exercise Saber Strike 2014, which ran from June 9 to June 20, was beneficial to the United States, the Baltic states and the other partner nations that participated, the exercise’s co-director said.
Estonian soldiers participate in Saber Strike 2014, a multinational field training exercise that demonstrated the interoperability of allied nations, near the Adazi training area in the Baltic nation of Latvia, June 15, 2014. Saber Strike, held June 9-20, 2014, was a U.S. Army Europe-led exercise designed to promote regional stability, strengthen international military partnerships, enhance multinational interoperability and prepare participants for worldwide contingency operations. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Sara Marchus
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Army Maj. Gen. Mark McQueen described the exercise’s success in providing training in multinational operations for NATO allies.
McQueen said his goal as Saber Strike’s co-director was to establish an exercise that was beneficial to the Baltic states and all partner nations participating.
“We provided a competitive and dynamic environment with an intent to challenge commanders, staffs and soldiers, with the final objective being for them to perfect and hone their skills so they can operate in an austere environment,” he said.
Saber Strike is a U.S. Army Europe-led, joint, multinational military exercise designed to promote regional stability, strengthen international military partnerships, enhance multinational interoperability and prepare participants for worldwide contingency operations. Participating countries include the Baltic nations of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, as well as Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States, creating a force of about 4,500 multinational service members.
“Regardless of which nation they were from, the soldiers really enjoyed working with and learning from each other,” McQueen said.
Saber Strike consisted of a variety of training drills and field exercises, with observer coach trainers evaluating soldiers’ skills, methods and capabilities. McQueen said he stayed involved throughout the exercise with troops to understand what skills, knowledge and opportunities the participants were doing every step of the way, speaking with individual soldiers about their experiences.
“It has been a great privilege to see these soldiers train in an environment where all 10 nations can learn together and be able to engage effectively with each other,” the general said.
This year marks the fourth Saber Strike exercise in the Baltic states. This year’s training focus, McQueen said, was to help formations understand defensive operations and then transition into offensive operations and begin their counterattack.
“The significance of this exercise cannot be understated,” he added. “It has helped our troops and our partner nations have the interoperability to perform drills together and hone their skills through complex and dynamic situations and prevail.”