Army prepares for 1,400-mile convoy to Macedonia

A convoy of Army vehicles comes to a halt during training on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at Vilseck, Germany.


By MARTIN EGNASH | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 21, 2017

VILSECK, Germany – Combat engineers with the Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment prepared on Tuesday for a 1,400-mile road march that will take them deep into the Balkans to Macedonia as part of Exercise Saber Guardian.

To prepare for the rigors of such a long journey, the soldiers conducted a wide variety of simulations of possible problems they may encounter along the way, including what to do if an Army vehicle crashed into a civilian vehicle in a foreign country, how to handle vehicle breakdowns and communications issues.

For many of the engineers, who are relatively new to the Army, this will be their first major exercise.

“Some of our soldiers don’t have a lot of experience behind the wheel, so we wanted to make sure they know how to perform maintenance on their vehicles and react well in a crisis before we go out,” said 2nd Lt. Colby Stitt. “On a long convoy like this, anything could happen. We need to make sure they’re prepared.”

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Sgt. Chris Ayers, a combat engineer with the Army's 2nd Calvary Regiment, teaches his junior soldiers about vehicle maintenance during a training event on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at Vilseck, Germany, to prepare for a 1,400-mile road march to Macedonia.

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