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Danish Division leads a part of the American exercise in the Baltic countries and Poland

04.06.2015  17:12
From the 1st to the 19th of June 2015 the HQ for American Land Forces in Europe, USAREUR, is conducting exercise SABER STRIKE 2015 in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Danish Division is responsible for execution of an important part, namely staff exercise SABER KNIGHT 2015, in which both the Danish brigades, the Lithuanian Iron Wolf Brigade, the 1st Latvian Landforces Brigade and the Estonian 1st Infantry Brigade are participating.

Furthermore the Danish 1st Brigade shall participate in a joint field exercise in Poland from the 8th to the 19th June with its combat vehicles squadron and logistics element.

This is the fifth time when the American forces in Europe are conducting SABER STRIKE exercise, which is a part of USA’s training program with the central and eastern European allied nations. This year the Danish Division for the first time took over the responsibility of planning and executing a part of the exercise called SABER KNIGHT, which is taking place in Nemencine, Lithuania from 1st to the 12th of June.

SABER KNIGHT exercise 2015 concludes the Danish Division’s education cycle 2014-15 of the five brigades, that are permanently affiliated to the division. The exercise is build up around a fictive situation, where Latvia after long period of political tensions is fearful of an attack by an aggressive neighbouring country. NATO deploys a force in order to deter the neighbouring country, but instead the enemy attacks Estonia and is moving swiftly south. On those grounds the division, which is backed up by an American brigade, is deployed in the defence battle to stop the enemy’s progress and to create premise for a contra-attack, which would once again free Latvia and Estonia.

“The central purpose is to train the six brigade commanders and their staff to make operative decisions, lead the assigned units, as well as coordinate their deployment with fellow units. The wide multinational composition of the Danish Division in this exercise provides us with exceptionally good conditions to train ourselves in an international scenario and discuss different solution opportunities so we could continue with new knowledge and experience. This year we are looking very much forward to train together with US Army – it is not so often that we have a possibility to train our staff procedures in such a high level with them and it will surely be educational for both partners,” says the acting Commander of the Danish Division, Colonel Claus Wessel-Tolvig.

“We are to conduct many operations and are close to establishing areas in a NATO country, which has some very special training aspects. The consideration shown to the civilian population plays an especially important role and at the same time we need to be careful about building that are worth preserving and about the infrastructure, which should be functioning after the battles are done. This all together provides extra friction and bigger complexity in the decision making process – something we are looking forward to train with the brigades”, says Claus Wessel-Tolvig.

The scenario which has been used since April 2013 is physically placed among others in the three Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The exercise is being executed as a so-called command post exercise (CPX). It means such an exercise, wherein only the central leading elements and the involved staff officers and support staff are participating. Around 600 soldiers are participating in the exercise, but no defined battle units. Denmark participates in the exercise with around 260 soldiers, as the 1st Brigade participates in the field exercise in Poland with around 110 men. All in all around 6.000 soldiers from 13 different nations are participating in the exercise.

Short information about SABER STRIKE 2015:
* SABER STRIKE is an American led exercise, which this year is conducted for the fifth time. The exercise is a part of the USA’s training program with the three Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
* Goal with the exercise is to train cooperation between forces of different nationalities in order to better the ability to plan and execute joint operations together.
* The exercise is held from the 1st to the 19th of June in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and around 6.000 soldiers are participating in it from the four hosting countries and Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Great Britain and USA.