Huge Military Exercise Sends “Strategic Message”

Saber Guardian 17 Opens in Bulgaria

Troops, distinguished visitors and members of the media gathered to take part in the opening ceremony of Saber Guardian 2017 at the Novo Selo Training Area in Bulgaria, July 11.

Saber Guardian is an annual multinational exercise rotating between Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine as part of U.S. European Command’s Joint Exercise Program. Led by U.S. Army Europe, Saber Guardian consists of air and ground based forces and is designed to enhance joint operational capability with allied and partner nations. This year’s exercise takes places in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania from July 11-20.

“The exercise itself, sends a strategic message on unity of efforts, military, and political solidarity,” said Bulgarian Deputy Chief of Defense Vice Admiral Emil Eftimov.

Larger than past iterations, this year’s exercise consists of approximately 25,000 service members from 22 allied and partner nations, and is the largest of the Black Sea region exercises.

Regional Deterrence in Eastern Europe

“In exercise Saber Guardian we are demonstrating an incredible ability to deter — by massing the combat power of a multi-national division,” said Maj. Gen. John Gronski, Deputy Commanding General for the Army National Guard, U.S. Army Europe. “By conducting these exercises, we improve our freedom of movement across Europe, in particular the Black Sea region.”

Across the Balkan region Saber Guardian 17 includes joint and multi-national live fire exercises, river crossings, mass casualty responses, and an air defense artillery live fire that demonstrates deterrence capabilities – while showcasing the ability to mass forces anywhere in Europe at any given time.

Gronski went on to say, “Bulgaria is a very important member of the NATO alliance, we train together as an alliance, and we deter together as an alliance.”

Maj. Gen. John Gronski Deputy Commanding General for Army National Guard, U.S. Army Europe, speaks to multinational military members during the opening ceremony for exercise Saber Guardian 17 at Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria, July 11, 2017. Saber Guardian is a U.S. Army Europe-led, multinational exercise that spans across Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania with more than 25,000 service members from 22 allied and partner nations. 1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Gen. John Gronski Deputy Commanding General for Army National Guard, U.S. Army Europe, speaks to multinational military members during the opening ceremony for exercise Saber Guardian 17 at Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria, July 11, 2017. Saber Guardian is a U.S. Army Europe-led, multinational exercise that spans across Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania with more than 25,000 service members from 22 allied and partner nations. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Nicholaus Williams, 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera)) VIEW ORIGINAL Leadership from participating nations render honors for the host nations' national anthems during the opening ceremony for exercise Saber Guardian 17 at Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria, July 11, 2017. Saber Guardian is a U.S. Army Europe-led, multinational exercise that spans across Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania with more than 25,000 service members from 22 allied and partner nations. 2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Leadership from participating nations render honors for the host nations’ national anthems during the opening ceremony for exercise Saber Guardian 17 at Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria, July 11, 2017. Saber Guardian is a U.S. Army Europe-led, multinational exercise that spans across Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania with more than 25,000 service members from 22 allied and partner nations. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Nicholaus Williams, 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera)) VIEW ORIGINAL

Source: US Army (USAREUR)

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