FRIDAY FOTO (October 19, 2012)
Aaah, autumn in Bavaria: the crisp air, the colorful foliage, the rumble of a U.S. Army cavalry column.
This convoy of vehicles, led by an Army Stryker vehicle, is entering the village of Schalkenthan, near Grafenwoehr, Germany, during Saber Junction 2012. The multinational exercise involves U.S. troops and 1,800 NATO and non-NATO personnel from 18 nations including Germany, Bulgaria, Italy, Moldova, Sweden, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Britain.
If you click on the image to enlarge it, you will see the grenade launching tubes to the left of the soldier in the top hatch of the Stryker, as well as the heavy machine gun just above the grenade launchers.
In addition to developing interoperability of communications networks and systems, the exercise seeks to overcome language barriers and promote cultural understanding.
The huge training and manuever area — 1,300 square miles — exposes the Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment (2CR) to the real-life challenges of civilian traffic, civilian authorities and civilians on the battlefield, in addition to the real-world experience of working as a coalition.
Saber Junction is the largest exercise of its kind in Europe since 1989. And before the exercise concludes on Oct. 30, it will see the use of jets, helicopters, Main Battle Tanks, Infantry Fighting Vehicles, Strykers and more than 200 wheeled vehicles and 90 tracked vehicles.
The 2nd Cavalry will have to deal not only with a mock insurgency but also force-on-force action against a conventional opponent. Army officials want to incorporate the lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan with scenarios U.S. troops my face in 10 or 15 years.
To see a brief Army video outlining the exercise’s scope, click here.
Entry filed under: Afghanistan, Counter Insurgency, FRIDAY FOTO, Iraq, Lessons Learned, National Security and Defense, Photos, Skills and Training, Technology, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: Afghanistan, Army, Counter Insurgency, Germany, Iraq, Lessons Learned, Saber Junction exercise 2012, Stryker vehicle, Topics.