Saber Strike 2018, a major US-led multinational exercise, wrapped up in Poland on Friday (15 June 2018), with a live-fire demonstration involving Polish F-16s and MI-24 attack helicopters.
The exercise, which began on 3 June, mobilised around 18,000 troops from 19 NATO Allies and partners. It provided an opportunity for forces to enhance their readiness and train across the Baltic states and Poland.
This year, NATO’s four multinational battlegroups participated in the exercise, as did the Alliance’s command and control structures in the region. “What I’m really excited about is to see, in one year, how far the battlegroups have come, taking their readiness to new heights…they are better prepared because they do exercises like this,” said US Deputy Commanding General Maj. Gen. Timothy McGuire. NATO Force Integration Units in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland also supported the exercise by planning and coordinating incoming troops.
Key training events of the exercise included an air assault operation in Lithuania, a convoy of the US 2ndCavalry Regiment from Germany to Latvia, and multiple bridge and river crossings. Participating nations provided appropriate transparency under the OSCE Vienna Document on confidence and security-building measures. For instance, Poland provided a mandatory notification to all OSCE participating states, including Russia, 42 days in advance of the exercise and the US, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia provided voluntary notifications on the exercise. In addition, the US provided a voluntary briefing to the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation.