NEWS | Dec. 15, 2014

Danish military preps for Saber Strike 2015 in Pennsylvania with 28th Infantry Division

By Tech. Sgt. Ted Nichols Pennsylvania National Guard

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – Members of the Danish military visited here Dec. 11, 2014, as part of a planning visit being conducted with the 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, in preparation for exercise Saber Strike 2015.

“We have the task to join up a U.S. Army Europe exercise called Saber Strike with a Danish division exercise called Yellow Knight,” said Maj. Niels Fjord Borsting, Danish Army Division G5, who will serve as chief of the exercise center for Saber Strike 2015. “As part of that cooperation, the 28th Infantry Division will become the higher command in the exercise and we are here to coordinate exercise support, practicalities, manning, operational layout and battle rhythm with 28th Infantry Division staff.”

Saber Strike 2015 is a U.S. Army Europe-led multinational, joint exercise scheduled for June 2015 in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

“The 28th Infantry Division is excited to have Soldiers train with our multinational partners in the Baltics in 2015,” said Maj. Gen. John Gronski, 28th Infantry Division commanding general. “The training exercise provides an opportunity for the 28th Infantry Division to increase its training readiness and strengthen relationships with our friends from Denmark, Lithuania and other European countries.”

The Saber Strike exercise was developed to improve coalition interoperability, enhance the combat readiness of all participants, and facilitate a professional exchange with our NATO partners.”

If you’re looking at the strategic part of the messaging of this whole exercise, right now there will be 11 countries participating in the exercise itself, said Borsting. “This sends a very important message that NATO is working together with all of the partners and we are setting this exercise up together.”

During their visit to Fort Indiantown Gap, the contingent conducted a meeting with Pennsylvania Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Wesley Craig, and visited the installation’s combined arms collective training facility, unmanned aerial vehicle facility, engagement skills trainers and joint emergency operations center.

“I always enjoy the opportunity to welcome our international partners and allies to Pennsylvania National Guard headquarters at Fort Indiantown Gap,” said Craig. “It is very important for both the Pennsylvania National Guard and our country to continue to expand and strengthen our relationships with all NATO countries, and exercises like Saber Strike are a great tool for building strategic, meaningful partnerships. It’s great to see the Danes here as we all work together for a stronger common defense across the alliance.”

Following their visit to Fort Indiantown Gap, it was back to work at the 28th Infantry Division in Harrisburg to continue their seven-day collaborative planning visit.

“Just having contact and seeing the guys we will be working together with on your territory is very good preparation for this exercise,” said Borsting. “We are building strong relationships right now and that is very important and what this exercise is all about.”

The Pennsylvania National Guard will send more than 100 Soldiers and Airmen in June to take part in Saber Strike 2015, according to the Pennsylvania National Guard State Partnership Program office.