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A Polish soldier with American and British forces in Hohenfels, Germany, takes aim and surveys his surroundings during Exercise Saber Junction, Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
A Polish soldier with American and British forces in Hohenfels, Germany, takes aim and surveys his surroundings during Exercise Saber Junction, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
A Polish soldier with American and British forces in Hohenfels, Germany, takes aim and surveys his surroundings during Exercise Saber Junction, Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
A Polish soldier with American and British forces in Hohenfels, Germany, takes aim and surveys his surroundings during Exercise Saber Junction, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
American soldiers speed toward their objective in a Stryker during Exercise Saber Junction in Hohenfels, Germany, Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
American soldiers speed toward their objective in a Stryker during Exercise Saber Junction in Hohenfels, Germany, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Pawel Galek, a Polish soldier, wears camouflage face paint while training with the American Army at Exercise Saber Junction on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
Pawel Galek, a Polish soldier, wears camouflage face paint while training with the American Army at Exercise Saber Junction on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
A British Challenger II tank moves through in the forest in Hohenfels, Germany, during Exercise Saber Junction, Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
A British Challenger II tank moves through in the forest in Hohenfels, Germany, during Exercise Saber Junction, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Lt. Col. Matthew Archambault, commander of 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, with the training opposition forces at Exercise Saber Junction, Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
Lt. Col. Matthew Archambault, commander of 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, with the training opposition forces at Exercise Saber Junction, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
A British Warrior Observation Post Vehicle waits in the woods in Hohenfels, Germany, concealed from simulated enemy forces during Exercise Saber Junction, Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
A British Warrior Observation Post Vehicle waits in the woods in Hohenfels, Germany, concealed from simulated enemy forces during Exercise Saber Junction, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
American, Polish and British soldiers train in Hohenfels, Germany, during Exercise Saber Junction, Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
American, Polish and British soldiers train in Hohenfels, Germany, during Exercise Saber Junction, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

HOHENFELS, Germany — Almost 4,000 soldiers from more than a dozen NATO and partner nations are participating in the annual Saber Junction Exercise to evaluate the readiness of one of U.S. Army Europe’s combat brigades.

This year, the Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment is being tested at the exercise lasting from April 13 to May 16 at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center.

During the exercise, a simulated opposition force of American soldiers harasses and engages the regiment and allied units. To make the test more challenging, the opposition force is given the freedom to make things as difficult as they can for the those going through the exercise, by abducting soldiers, seizing vehicles and setting up ambushes.

Second Cavalry commander Col. Patrick Ellis said the opposition force does not hold back during the training — they actually want to win during the engagements. This adds a level of realism and intensity to the exercise that is hard to replicate anywhere else, he said.

egnash.martin@stripes.com Twitter: @Marty_Stripes

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