US Army’s 5-4 Air Defense Artillery Regiment (ADAR) and the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (2CR) have successfully taken part in a combined arms live-fire exercise (CALFEX) at the Bemowo Piskie Training Area in Poland.

CALFEX was conducted as part of the ongoing Saber Strike 2024 exercise, scheduled from 8-30 April 2024.

Saber Strike served as a platform to demonstrate the integration of air defence and manoeuvre units, with the new Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense System (M-SHORAD) being a highlight, reported Leara Shumate.

This system is designed to provide strategic short-range air defence, improve the manoeuvring capabilities of forces and offering increased protection for operations.

US Army Captain Bryce Land said: “The Army Test and Evaluation Command’s (ATEC) CG has charged the Operational Test Command (OTC) and the Army Evaluation Command (AEC) with updating the way we test new equipment and systems.

“The M-SHORAD participation at Saber Strike 2024 is allowing us to gain an understanding of what it will take to conduct testing in contact while utilizing operational fielded unit training.”

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The CALFEX refined tactical operations and promoted international defence cooperation, testing the M-SHORAD’s effectiveness in real-world conditions.

CALFEX also saw participation from air defence units from NATO countries, including Germany, Italy, Romania, and Spain, among others.

US Army Sergeant Tristan Haigh, a Cavalry Scout assigned to 2CR, said: “Integrating air defence into our scout operations really helps with our security because we can have our main focus on the ground while air defence has their eyes in the sky. It helps us overall with the security and overall success of the mission.”

Saber Strike 2024 exercise forms part of the Dynamic Employment of Forces to Europe for NATO Deterrence and Enhanced Readiness (DEFENDER) 2024, a series of training exercises.

Said to be the largest US Army exercise in Europe, the DEFENDER 24 involves more than 17,000 US and 23,000 multinational service members from more than 20 Allied and partner nations.

DEFENDER 24 is focused on the strategic deployment of US-based forces, the utilisation of Army prepositioned stocks, and enhancing interoperability across 13 European countries.

The exercise aims to deter adversaries, transform operational mission command, strengthen the NATO Alliance, and build readiness.