by Capt Chase P. McFarland
USAFE-AFAFRICA Public Affairs
6/8/2015 - ADAZI TRAINING AREA, Latvia -- About
6,000 personnel from 13 countries, including the United States, are
participating in the Saber Strike 15 exercise taking place in Estonia,
Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, June 8 through 19.
Saber Strike is a long-standing U.S Army Europe-led cooperative training
exercise conducted annually since 2010. The aim of the exercise is to
improve the cooperation and capabilities of the participating nations
for future contingency operations. This year's exercise objectives
facilitate cooperation among Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany,
Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, the United
Kingdom and the United States.
The U.S. Air Force plays a critical role by providing aerial refueling,
aerial port support capabilities, joint tactical air control, personnel
and equipment airlift, and close air support to U.S. and partner nation
ground forces while demonstrating air deployment of forces and
"Saber Strike is a great opportunity to showcase and foster our
interoperability between ally and partner nations," said Gen. Frank
Gorenc, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander.
"Combined training and theater security cooperation engagements with our
allies and partners demonstrate that we share a commitment to promoting
a Europe that is whole, free and at peace."
U.S. Air Force capabilities in the exercise include KC-135 Stratotankers
from the Michigan Air National Guard, the Pennsylvania Air National
Guard and the U.S. Air Force Reserves out of Seymour Johnson Air Force
Base, North Carolina; F-16 Fighting Falcons from the South Carolina Air
National Guard; A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the Maryland Air National
Guard; B-52 Stratofortresses from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota;
and C-130J Super Hercules from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Additional
support is provided by the 435th Contingency Response Group and the
435th Air-Ground Operations Wing from Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
"Maintaining a forward, ready presence in Europe is critical to assuring
our allies and to deter real and potential adversaries," said Gorenc.
"We are only able to maintain this global presence through total force
cooperation with our National Guard and Air Force Reserve partners."