By Army 2nd Lt. Sierra N. Ejzak, 18th Military Police Brigade
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Soldiers with the 18th Military Police Brigade and the 15th Engineer Battalion are here preparing to participate in Saber Strike 2018, a multinational exercise.
The exercise will be held June 3-15 at training areas in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, facilitates cooperation and enhances the NATO alliance. This year’s exercise anticipates 18,000 participants from 19 countries.
The 18th Military Police Brigade will be supporting maneuver forces such as the 2nd Cavalry Regiment with movement support and area security. Operations range from joint convoy security with support from allied and partner forces to facilitating river crossings.
The brigade will consist of a military police battalion and an engineer battalion as well as soldiers from U.S. Army Correctional Activity Europe, who have been setting the stage for the exercise. National Guard units from Puerto Rico, Michigan and Indiana will join the brigade, along with partners and allies from seven countries, including the United Kingdom, Poland, Germany and Macedonia.
Tough, Realistic Training
The brigade is preparing for the exercise through tough, realistic training, and by performing a thorough route reconnaissance that identified and marked key infrastructure along routes from Germany through Poland. The 709th Military Police Battalion completed preparations for Saber Strike 2018 with a live-fire exercise that tested the weapons, maneuvering and communications capabilities at each level of the organization.
“The training leading up to this summer has prepared our soldiers to work together almost seamlessly,” said Army 1st Lt. Chad Wanek, platoon leader from the 529th Military Police Company. “We’ve seen a lot of improvement … all the way to the company level. We were able to get after tasks that greatly improve our unit’s readiness, and that’s where we make our money.”
Multiple MP Missions
The military police will conduct law enforcement, border crossing assistance and route reconnaissance missions throughout the exercise.
The 15th Engineer Battalion recently completed the Resolute Castle exercise, and the battalion’s commander, Army Lt. Col. John McNamara, said he was pleased with his unit’s soldiers.
“Resolute Castle has prepared the battalion for Saber Strike by allowing soldiers and leaders to plan and execute mobility and survivability tasks in an unconstrained training area,” McNamara said. “Soldiers built and dug various types of fighting positions and constructed combat roads and trails maximizing the amount of time each soldier operated their assigned piece of equipment.”