The U.S. Army has reported that some 175 Soldiers and over 50 military vehicles from the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, spearheaded by 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, participated in a multinational operation to cross the Danube river, as the culminating event of Saber Guardian 2019, June 23, 2019.
“Our battalion has been operating within a multinational division operation to cross a large river, [Wet Gap Crossing], and then secure the far side and follow on objectives, to enable further movement and build combat power,” said Lt. Col. Drew Conover, commander of the 1st Bn., 16th Inf. Reg. “This particular operation is just one of the offensive operations that we’re conducting within Saber Guardian, the Gap Crossing.”
The Wet Gap Crossing (WGX), involved a series of events including a sling load resupply, medical training, a base defense and convoy live fire exercises, and was the culminating event for Saber Guardian, which lasted just over three weeks.
“1st ID was providing the command and control for the gap crossing itself,” said Conover. “Within that responsibility is controlling all of the various units required to do that, so all the companies that provide the bridge to cross the river, the maneuver units to secure the far side and near side of the river and our battalion which is securing the objectives beyond the far side.”
Complex exercises like WGX will always require constant communication, adds Conover. We conduct them in order to train how we expect to fight.
“This exercise was important for a bunch of reasons,” Conover said. “If we’re going to be required to fight alongside our allies then we’ve got to make sure we can plan together and communicate in complex circumstances like this river crossing.”
Exercises such as Saber Guardian 19, continue to increase participating nations’ readiness and capacity to conduct full spectrum military operations. They send a clear message that the U.S. and its allies and partners work skillfully together.
“I thought the unit did an absolutely fantastic job,” concluded Conover. “I thought our unit, along with the rest of the units out here were very disciplined and there was a lot of hard work, a lot of teamwork, and really just a lot of effort that went into everything that happened out here. I think the results of the operation being as successful as it was, is a testament to everybody’s hard work during the last three weeks.”
The Devil Brigade is part of more than 6,000 U.S. regionally-allocated Soldiers in Germany, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, on a nine-month rotation, in support of Atlantic Resolve. Atlantic Resolve provides ready, combat-credible forces through multinational training and security cooperation activities.