June 14, 2016 (TAPA ARMY BASE, Estonia) — Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard’s 34th Red Bull Infantry Division joined units from 14 countries to support the Saber Strike 16 exercise taking place from May 27-June 22 throughout Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The long-standing U.S. Army Europe-led exercise is designed to improve joint interoperability through a range of missions that prepare participating nations to support multinational contingency operations.
“Taking leadership roles in Saber Strike, Cooperative Resolve, Yama Sakura, Talisman Sabre, Austere Challenge and other international exercises sharpens our skills as soldiers and leaders, and reinforces the reputation earned by the Red Bulls who served before us,” said Division Commanding General Maj. Gen. Neal Loidolt. “Through Saber Strike, we are strengthening relationships with our Allies to enhance international security, while broadening the capacity of the Minnesota National Guard to assist in future coalition operations.”
During the exercise, the Red Bulls are demonstrating for partner nations, such as Slovenia, the capabilities a division headquarters brings to the battle. Soldiers from C Company, 34th Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion are also augmenting the communications capabilities of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment.
The exercise serves as an effective proving ground for NATO Allies to improve their ability to assemble rapid-reaction forces and deploy them on short notice where needed.
Saber Strike 16 features allied and partner-nation ground forces conducting live-fire, command post and cyber/electronic warfare training, plus the integration of U.S. close-air support with multinational ground forces. Leading up to the exercise, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment has demonstrated U.S. land forces’ dynamic presence throughout the region, exhibiting freedom of movement during a 2,200-kilometer tactical road march, called Dragoon Ride II, from Germany to Estonia.
Participating nations this year include Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
by Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Houtkooper
34th Red Bull Infantry Division Public Affairs