Support our mission
 
From left, British army Brigadier Robert Walton-Knight, commander of 8th Engineer Brigade; U.S. Army Lt. Col. Doug Lynch, commander of 5th Battalion; 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment; British army Lt. Col. Alan Mason, commander of the 75 Engineer Regiment; and Sgt. Maj. George Clark of 5-7 ADA, cross an M3 Amphibious Rig bridge over the Wesel River in Germany. Patriot launcher stations later crossed the bridge during Minden Shock, a multinational training exercise, Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
From left, British army Brigadier Robert Walton-Knight, commander of 8th Engineer Brigade; U.S. Army Lt. Col. Doug Lynch, commander of 5th Battalion; 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment; British army Lt. Col. Alan Mason, commander of the 75 Engineer Regiment; and Sgt. Maj. George Clark of 5-7 ADA, cross an M3 Amphibious Rig bridge over the Wesel River in Germany. Patriot launcher stations later crossed the bridge during Minden Shock, a multinational training exercise, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
From left, British army Brigadier Robert Walton-Knight, commander of 8th Engineer Brigade; U.S. Army Lt. Col. Doug Lynch, commander of 5th Battalion; 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment; British army Lt. Col. Alan Mason, commander of the 75 Engineer Regiment; and Sgt. Maj. George Clark of 5-7 ADA, cross an M3 Amphibious Rig bridge over the Wesel River in Germany. Patriot launcher stations later crossed the bridge during Minden Shock, a multinational training exercise, Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
From left, British army Brigadier Robert Walton-Knight, commander of 8th Engineer Brigade; U.S. Army Lt. Col. Doug Lynch, commander of 5th Battalion; 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment; British army Lt. Col. Alan Mason, commander of the 75 Engineer Regiment; and Sgt. Maj. George Clark of 5-7 ADA, cross an M3 Amphibious Rig bridge over the Wesel River in Germany. Patriot launcher stations later crossed the bridge during Minden Shock, a multinational training exercise, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
A convoy of U.S. Army vehicles cross the Weser River over a M3 Amphibious Rig bridge built by British and German army engineers during a training exercise in Germany dubbed Minden Shock. Soldiers of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command's 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, drove a Patriot missile battery over the bridge before setting up the battery nearby, Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
A convoy of U.S. Army vehicles cross the Weser River over a M3 Amphibious Rig bridge built by British and German army engineers during a training exercise in Germany dubbed Minden Shock. Soldiers of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command's 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, drove a Patriot missile battery over the bridge before setting up the battery nearby, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Vehicles of the  the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command's 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, out of Baumholder, Germany, cross the Weser River over a temporary bridge built by British and German engineers near Petershagen, Germany, Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
Vehicles of the the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command's 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, out of Baumholder, Germany, cross the Weser River over a temporary bridge built by British and German engineers near Petershagen, Germany, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Lt. Col. Doug Lynch, commander of 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, out of Baumholder, Germany, talks about the challenges of Minden Shock, a training exercise near Minden, Germany. The unit's Delta Battery had 96 hours to prepare and carry out the mission with its Patriot missiles.
Lt. Col. Doug Lynch, commander of 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, out of Baumholder, Germany, talks about the challenges of Minden Shock, a training exercise near Minden, Germany. The unit's Delta Battery had 96 hours to prepare and carry out the mission with its Patriot missiles. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Patriot missile launchers of Battery D, 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery, stand ready in a field near Minden, Germany, less than two hours after they crossed the Weser River over a temporary bridge during Minden Shock, a training exercise that included American, German and British soldiers, with observers from Belgium and Poland.
Patriot missile launchers of Battery D, 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery, stand ready in a field near Minden, Germany, less than two hours after they crossed the Weser River over a temporary bridge during Minden Shock, a training exercise that included American, German and British soldiers, with observers from Belgium and Poland. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Six M3 Amphibious Rigs, three British and three German, span a bridge across the Weser River on the outskirts of Petershagen, Germany, Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
Six M3 Amphibious Rigs, three British and three German, span a bridge across the Weser River on the outskirts of Petershagen, Germany, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
A vehicle crew gets thumbs up from Lt. Col. Doug Lynch, 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment commander, and Sgt. Maj. George Clark after they crossed the Weser River over a temporary bridge, near Petershagen, Germany, Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
A vehicle crew gets thumbs up from Lt. Col. Doug Lynch, 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment commander, and Sgt. Maj. George Clark after they crossed the Weser River over a temporary bridge, near Petershagen, Germany, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Soldiers of the 18th Military Police Brigade watch vehicles of the 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment cross the Weser River near Petershagen, Germany, over a temporary bridge built by British and German army engineers, Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
Soldiers of the 18th Military Police Brigade watch vehicles of the 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment cross the Weser River near Petershagen, Germany, over a temporary bridge built by British and German army engineers, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
A British soldier guides a Patriot launcher station of 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, over an M3 Amphibious Rig bridge spanning the Weser River, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, during Minden Shock, a multinational training exercise.
A British soldier guides a Patriot launcher station of 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, over an M3 Amphibious Rig bridge spanning the Weser River, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, during Minden Shock, a multinational training exercise. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
A British soldiers guides a U.S. Army vehicle over a temporary bridge spanning the Weser River, during Minden Shock, a multinational training exercise, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. British and German army engineers built the bridge using M3 Amphibious Rigs for the soldiers of 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, to cross.
A British soldiers guides a U.S. Army vehicle over a temporary bridge spanning the Weser River, during Minden Shock, a multinational training exercise, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. British and German army engineers built the bridge using M3 Amphibious Rigs for the soldiers of 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, to cross. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
A solider makes a video as he and other members of 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, cross the Weser River over a temporary bridge built by British and German engineers near Petershagen, Germany, Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
A solider makes a video as he and other members of 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, cross the Weser River over a temporary bridge built by British and German engineers near Petershagen, Germany, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

PETERSHAGEN, GERMANY — In an exercise dubbed “Minden Shock” soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment had little time to plan and carry out the mission.

“This was a no-notice exercise,” said battalion commander Lt. Col. Doug Lynch. “Within the last 96 hours this was planned and executed.”

The Baumholder, Germany-based unit had to drive their Patriot launcher stations and support vehicles nearly 300 miles to a field near Minden.

On the way there they had to cross the Weser River over a bridge built by British and German engineers.

Using six M3 Amphibious Rigs, three German and three British, the soldiers of 23 Amphibious Troop, Royal Engineers and the German army’s 130th Pioneer Battalion spanned the 250-foot-wide river for the Americans to cross.

Forty vehicles, including what Lynch called some of heaviest and most lethal weapons the U.S. Army has, rumbled across the temporary span in less than 100 minutes.

“We have not done a crossing like this on a river with our amphibious capabilities for some time,” said Brigadier Robert Walton-Knight, commander of the British army’s 8th Engineer Brigade. “To be able to do it is a fantastic opportunity.”

From the bridgehead the U.S. convoy travelled a couple of miles up the road to a large tree-encircled field. Here, within two hours of crossing the Weser, the soldiers had their Patriots deployed and ready to protect the skies over Minden.

Lynch, the battalion commander, was satisfied with their performance. “I believe we have demonstrated that we can rapidly move within the interior lines of Europe, anywhere, freely, to protect the third dimension, in our case, the air.”

abrams.mike@stripes.com

Migrated

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up