A major NATO exercise is underway at the US Army's Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas in Southeast Germany.The extensive drills are running from 19 April to 16 June 2017,with over 3400 troops from 10 NATO Allies and partners.Those participating include:
Albania;Finland;Hungary;Kosovo;Lithuania;Macedonia;Romania;Slovenia;Ukraine;and the US Army's European Rotational Force,as represented by the Mission Command Element and 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team,4th Infantry Division,out of Fort Carson,Colorado;and the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade out of Fort Drum,New York.
CRVIII has three phases:
1.Combined arms live-fire exercises on Grafenwoehr;
2.Command post exercise;
3.Force-on-force manoeuvre training at the US Army Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels.*
About 1400 4th ID troops were relocated from Zagan,Poland to support the drills.According to 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team,4th ID operations officer Major Jon Alexander:
Participation in this multinational exercise not only demonstrates our ability to freely move an armoured brigade around Europe;it provides the best opportunities to train with as many Allies as possible,so that we are collectively stronger as a fighting force.*
The movement of the 3/4 ABCT from Poland to Germany took about two weeks.The ABCT's Tactical Command Post (TAC) was set up by 29 March.Relocating this HQ was to further support the NATO Allies in the combined environment of the Training Areas.Its mission is to support multiple field exercises such as CR VIII and Saber Guardian 17,which are multinational joint operations.
3/4 ABCT is the current heavy brigade in rotation for Operation Atlantic Resolve,the effort to strengthen NATO's battle force in Europe.*
The TAC was set up to control the fight and battle track while the larger Tactical Operations Center (TOC) is being moved.There was 100% accountability of all personnel,equipment and sensitive items in 48 hours.The 3/4 ABCT will repeatedly mass and move around Central and Eastern Europe to demonstrate the ability to freely and rapidly manoeuvre an armoured force across Alliance member-states.The equipment being moved includes the TOCs;M1A2 Abrams tanks;and M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles.Exercising the rapid mobility of a brigade and its more than 2600 pieces of equipment has become muscle memory to the Soldiers involved,noted Captain Alex Carreon,TAC officer in charge with HHC Brigade.