US Military tanks and soldiers arrive in Poland for Military training exercise. TAPA TRAINING AREA, Estonia – “Fire Mission!” “Fire Mission!” “Fire Mission!” was the sound that was heard to begin the final day of exercises for Saber Strike 16 at Tapa Training Area, Estonia, June 20, 2016.
Nearly 10,000 servicemen from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the United States have been working and training together over the past few days during Saber Strike 16 leading up to the grand finale.
Today’s exercise included allied and partner-nation ground forces conducting live-fire as they assaulted and breached the objective taking over the enemy’s fighting position along with Field Artillery firing rounds from M777 Howitzers and from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). A B-52 and two A-10 Thunderbolts (Warthogs) also performed fly-overs as well as AH-64 Apache helicopters, which fired rockets and munitions. Stryker vehicles assisted by firing 120mm mortar rounds and .50 caliber machine gun rounds at the enemy targets.
Mr. Taavi Roivas, the Prime Minister of Estonia, provided some words of encouragement and thanks to the service members from the participating nations for their hard work during the exercise.
“It is great to see all of you service members from so many different nations,” said Roivas. “It is also great to see that all of our nations are working together as one, and that Saber Strike 16 was a great success.”
Roivas went on to say that Saber Strike 16 was a very important testament to the NATO allies’ solidity and interoperability.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Stephen Gventer, the commander of 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, stationed out of Vilseck, Germany, said that the exercise went very smoothly and was very impressed with the way the service members from so many different nations worked well together.
“Saber Strike 16 was a culminating event that started out at battalion level exercises and worked its way up to brigade level exercises with several of our NATO allies,” said Gventer. “It all led up to today’s live fire exercise, which showed and proved our capabilities of coming together as one army. The bottom line is that NATO is an alliance that can come together quickly and effectively,” he added.
Gventer went on to say that he thought the exercise went very well and that the synchronization of the different capabilities from the several participating nations went very smoothly. (U.S. Army story by Staff Sgt. Steven M. Colvin)
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