HOHENFELS, Germany -- Saber Junction 20 kicked off as helicopters from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit transported 173rd Airborne Brigade Soldiers for an infiltration assault into the Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Aug. 10.
Saber Junction 20 is a 7th Army Training Command-conducted, U.S. Army Europe-directed annual exercise designed to assess the readiness of the 173rd Airborne Brigade to execute unified land operations in a joint, combined environment and to promote interoperability with participating ally and partner nations.
“Saber Junction 20 is focused on a joint forcible entry today. We try to rapidly converge forces from across the European theater to fight a decisive action battle against the near-peer adversary,” said Lt. Col. Phillip Lamb, senior aviation observer/coach-trainer at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center.
JMRC focuses on multinational interoperability and delivers a realistic, complex operational environment supported by observer/coach-trainers.
As the U.S. Army’s Contingency Response Force in Europe, the 173rd Airborne Brigade’s mission is to deploy and decisively win in ground combat against a near-peer adversary for Saber Junction 20, said Lt. Col. Nathan Strohm, brigade support battalion commander for the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
Strohm added that the exercise gives the brigade an opportunity to understand the complexity of the modern battlefield through training scenarios.
“Trying to replicate those scenarios in this training environment is instrumental for the training of our paratroopers,” he said. “It requires us to do large-scale collective training in a complex environment.”
New to this year’s exercise is a rotational design change executed by JMRC leaders at Hohenfels Training Area.
“Our current exercise design effort, which is being executed during Saber Junction 20, [focuses] on competition, repetition and retraining. This model is designed to create a training environment that is truly competitive,” said Lt. Col. Charles Ford, deputy commander of the operations group at JMRC.
“It establishes a climate that encourages innovation and problem-solving. At JMRC, we deliver training that enhances the readiness of units in the European theater."
More than 4,000 participants from the U.S. and ally and partner nations are participating in Saber Junction 20 at Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels training areas until Aug. 27.
Participating nations are Albania, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, North Macedonia, Romania and Ukraine.
For more information about Saber Junction 20, visit https://www.7atc.army.mil/SaberJunction/.