173rd Airborne’s return to exercise Saber Junction
Stars and Stripes September 9, 2022
HOHENFELS, Germany− The 173rd Airborne Brigade is back center stage of the annual Saber Junction exercise after a short hiatus since 2020. This year’s exercise focused on assessing the 173rd Airborne Brigade’s ability to deploy and work in a joint environment with other allied nations.
The hiatus came after a change in its parent commands back in 2020. Previously falling under the responsibility of the 7th Army Training command, the 173rd was then transferred to Southern European Task Force which later became part of the larger U.S. Army Europe and Africa command.
The Airborne Brigade based out of Vincenza, Italy made the 250-mile journey on short notice to participate in this year’s exercise. 4,400 participants from 13 different allied countries will test their ability to work together at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center from Aug. 29 to Sept. 20.
“As part of the exercise there will be air borne insertions of paratroopers and equipment,” said Capt. Rob Haake, Public Affairs Office for the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
The 173rd hopes to demonstrate their ability to deploy equipment and personnel from the air in short time fames in support of its allied forces. Fulfilling two of the Army’s key objects, being able to deploy rapidly and being able to work in unison with allied nations.
“We can never get enough opportunity work with our NATO allies and partners,” said Col. Tim Shaffer, G3 for Southern European Task Force Africa.
Shaffer also stresses the importance of training in joint environment. Making sure that all the countries are on page when it comes to the equipment and operating systems but also a human element as well.