An abandoned nuclear facility. Armed hostile forces. Chemical weapons. Hostages… It might sound like something out of “Call of Duty” or a Hollywood blockbuster, but these were just a few of the many combat variables that were thrown into the training scenarios of ‘Operation Gryphon Longsword’ held recently at JBLM in Washington State.
In what was described as historic, Operation Gryphon Longsword brought to bear the capabilities of some 1,400 service members and three units for the first exercise of its kind.
“In my 30 years in the Army, this exercise, from my observation, is the most complex operation I’ve seen performed by any unit at home station,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Fanelli, command sergeant major of the 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade.
The 201st is one of two active duty BfSBs in the active Army, and for Operation Gryphon Longsword, they led the charge.
The British Army’s rapid reaction force has jumped into Kenya to begin six-weeks of training in an operation known as Exercise ASKARI STORM.
Troops from the 2 PARA Battlegroup parachuted from an RAF C130J Hercules onto the dusty plains of the Archers Post training area.
The 1,200-strong battlegroup that has deployed to Kenya is built around the airborne infantry of 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment bolstered by artillery, engineers, medics, military police, signallers, intelligence specialists and logisticians from 16 Air Assault Brigade.
Paratroopers from 16 Air Assault Brigade have been working alongside their Polish counterparts as they train together on a NATO exercise in Poland to practice capturing bridges.
Exercise Anakonda has seen A Company, 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (A Coy, 3 PARA) work with the Polish 16th Airborne Battalion, 16 Battalion Powietrznodesantowy. The troops have planned and carried out missions side by side, to improve their understanding of the similarities and differences between them so that they are better prepared to operate together.
Capt. Armands Rutkis, a joint tactical air controller from the Latvian armed forces, marks a drop zone with smoke for a C-130 Hercules dropping simulated cargo during a joint training exercise Aug. 5.
U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Scott Thompson
Operation REASSURANCESoldiers from the 16th Battalion of the Polish 6th Airborne Brigade and “Mike” Company, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment conduct a tactical river crossing as part of a joint exercise during Operation REASSURANCE on July 30, 2014.
Photo: Cpl Mark Schombs, 4 CDSG Garrison Petawawa Imaging