NATO Air Defenders Train in Poland for Exercise Saber Strike 22
NATO Air Defenders Train in Poland for Exercise Saber Strike 22

NATO Air Defenders Train in Poland for Exercise Saber Strike 22

The United States and Polish militaries held a closing ceremony for the Polish phase of exercise Saber Strike on Feb. 26. Held every two years since 2010, Saber Strike includes approximately 13,000 participants from 13 nations. U.S. presence in Europe and the relationships built throughout the past 70 years provide the U.S. strategic access critical to meet NATO commitments. Saber Strike 22 was also the exercise debut of four prototype Maneuver Short Range Air Defense platforms. The M-SHORAD defends maneuvering forces against unmanned aircraft systems, rotary-wing, and residual fixed-wing threats.

“The unit is conducting combined arms training strategy tied with their new equipment training to ensure the system is fielded as fast as it can to get it out to the force,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Greg Brady, 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command commanding general.

“During Saber Strike we’re conducting air and missile defense training with our NATO Allies,” said U.S. Army Col. Patrick Thompson, 164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade commander. “This training helps build inoperability among our NATO Allies and partners.”

A Polish air defense Soldier trains with a ZU-23 anti-aircraft cannon during combined exercise Saber Strike at BPTA, Poland, Feb. 25, 2022. Training together now provides shared understanding when conflict occurs. (U.S. National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Clinton Thompson)

“We’ve been testing the capabilities of the M-SHORAD and U.S. link capabilities to be able to transmit data from our systems and sharing that to the Polish Army,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Brandon Anthony, a vehicle commander assigned to 5-4 ADA.

“We’re sending data links back and forth with the Polish so we can get air pictures and be able to track aircrafts in the sky,” said Jack Potter, a gunner for 5-4 ADA.

The 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, a part of 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, is the first unit in the U.S. Army to field, test and receive the M-SHORAD weapons system. On March 10, 5-4 ADA will conduct a live fire exercise demonstration on the Baltic Sea coast of Estonia. Training events like Saber Strike 22 are planned well in advance, are not connected to any current or ongoing operations. They are a prime example of our collective capabilities and demonstrate that NATO Allies and partners stand stronger together. Saber Strike is designed to ensure that U.S. forces and participating allied forces are trained, able to operate together and are ready to respond to any threat from any direction.

Maneuver Short Range Air Defense Strykers prototypes from the 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment are staged in preparation for air defense training exercise in BPTA, Poland, Feb. 25, 2022. This is the first exercise debut of the four prototype M-SHORAD Strykers. (U.S. National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Clinton Thompson)