Romania hosts successful Saber Guardian exercise

Posted at 4:22 PM, Aug 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 18:22:23-04

Members of the Montana National Guard joined soldiers from nine other nations in the Romanian countryside recently to participate in a military training exercise called "Saber Guardian."

"We are a part of a multi-national, multi component exercise here in Romania," Major General John Gronski, Army National Guard Deputy Commanding General said. 

"Exercises like this are important because it improves interoperability. It also helps develop relationships now so if the time comes to work together to defend Europe, we are prepared to do that," Gronski said.

On Thursday, distinguished visitors were able to visit the Romanian Land Force Combat Training Center to witness training methods.

"We saw a live fire exercise, we saw a bridge crossing, we saw a force on force exercise. All of these things are important for the United States and our allies to work together to provide a solid defense for Europe," Gronski said. 

Romania hosted the exercise to show that it is a strategic partner in Eastern Europe.

U.S. Army Europe Commanding General Lieutenant General Ben Hodges says it is important to have allies in a time of need. 

"We need allies and we need coalition partners. You can not just show up at a crisis and meet each other. You have to train with each other and you have to know each other. These Romanian soldiers have been fantastic allies in Iraq and Afghanistan," Hodges said. 

Guardsmen from Montana, Idaho, Oregon and South Carolina represented the United States during the exercise. 

"The fact that they can come over here to deploy and install a bridge, do tank line fire and all the tanks that engineers are doing. They are able to do that at a level of proficiency, which helped make this exercise a success I am extremely proud of that," Hodges said.

The annual multinational exercise rotates each year between Romania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine.

On Wednesday, we’ll take a closer look and meet members of the Montana National Guard taking part in the exercise.  

MTN’s trip to Romania was made possible through a grant from the Greater Montana Foundation. The Greater Montana Foundation benefits the people of Montana by encouraging communication, with an emphasis on electronic media, on issues, trends, and values of importance to present and future generations of Montanans.