SMARDAN, Romania – U.S. Soldiers and Airmen, Canadians and Romanian service members conducted Justice Sword, a multi-national training event designed to improve interoperability between U.S. and NATO forces, October 8-16, 2018.
Justice Sword provided service members from across the world an opportunity to unite and train as a single unit under a multitude of scenarios in support of Atlantic Resolve, an enduring training exercise between U.S. and NATO forces.
“I think we are going to have a good training event,” said U.S. Army Capt. Benjamin Nygaard, commander of Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. “I think we are going to come out of it qualified, more lethal, more capable and with the added capability of interoperability with the Romanians.”
Charlie Company and Romanian tank companies kicked off the combined training event with several different Situational Training Exercise lanes. The 2-5 CAV’s tank platoon acted as supporting firepower attached to a Romanian armored tank company.
U.S. and Romanian tank crews maneuvered across the range working on field maintenance, scanning techniques, identifying targets, Tactical Assembly Area Operations, movement to contact and defensive operations.
“They are utilizing our capabilities,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Tyler Franklin, a tank commander of Second Platoon, Charlie Company, 2-5 CAV. “The way that they are attacking the range is a lot of the same stuff that we do.”
Following their STX lanes, dry fire, safety briefs and maintenance preparations, 2-5 CAV and the Romanian force put all their training to the test as they swiftly transitioned to the Company Combined Arms Live-Fire Exercise.
The mortar platoon was the first to fire live rounds during the company CALFEX. They began early in the day and continued into the night, firing a culmination of 100 full range training rounds; 50 high explosive and 20 illumination rounds at a variation of targets.
U.S. tank crews fired numerous rounds at targets ranging from approximately 300 to 4,000 meters away using M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, M1A2 Abrams tank and small arm weapon systems. U.S. and Romanian Soldiers were tested on multiple simulated scenarios through out the exercise such as assessing a casualty, recovering and transporting a casualty and recovering a damaged vehicle. 2-5 CAV engineers also breached an enemy obstacle with a Bangalor Torpedo to provide an even more realistic battlefield scenario.
“It is an excellent opportunity to re-engage on our maneuver and communication skills,” Nygaard said.
Two Canadian F-18s soared through the sky providing close air support with guidance from U.S. Air Force Joint Tactical Attack Controllers from the 9th Air Support Operations Squadron assigned to 2-5 CAV.
“Working with different nations gives us insight on how other nations work and let’s us work off each other and learn new things,” said U.S. Airman 1st Class Bruce Lynan, the JTAC assigned to 2-5 CAV. Soldiers on and off the range worked day and night to ensure the success of the exercise.
U.S. Army Spc. Selena Jimenez assigned to 2-5 CAV was a prime example of a hard working Soldier who was tasked to ensure the communication bridge between the Romanian and U.S. Soldiers stayed powered on and in range through out the exercise.
“Comms are essential to every exercise to make sure that the Soldiers can effectively communicate and locate each other,” Jimenez said. “Without comms the Soldiers would have issues completing missions safely and efficiently.”
At approximately 2 a.m. on October 16th the last round was fired and the simulated enemy was successfully defeated bringing an end to the tactical aspect of Justice Sword.