More than 250 Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers with 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment, are scheduled to mobilize to Romania this week with the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team (CBCT) to participate in Saber Guardian 2016, a multinational military training exercise.
Exercise Saber Guardian 2016 will be held from at the Romanian Land Forces Combat Training Center in Cincu and will involve approximately 2,800 military personnel from 10 nations. An advanced team of Oregon Soldiers are already in Romania assisting with preparations for the battalion's arrival; receiving supplies and equipment, including M1A2 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles that were shipped overseas.
Led by U.S. Army Europe, the annual training exercise is part of the European Reassurance Initiative and is designed to promote regional stability and security while strengthening partnerships with NATO allies, fostering trust and improving interoperability between Romania, the U.S., NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. Personnel from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine will also participate.
Activities during Saber Guardian 16 will include a Field Training, Command Post and Combined Live Fire exercises. The 116th CBCT will primarily play opposing forces to enable other units from the U.S. and other countries to conduct training. On a unit level, the exercise is also training to rehearse mobilizing and deploying troops, and moving track and wheeled vehicles by land, rail and sea to an unfamiliar area. The unit will also conduct a river crossing with tanks and set up a bridge during the event.
The 116th CBCT is comprised of personnel from the Idaho, Montana and Oregon Army National Guard and will be augmented by the 125th Multi-role Bridge Company of the South Carolina Army National Guard. More than 1,000 Soldiers from the 116th CBCT will join approximately 1,500 Soldiers from other U.S.-based units to participate in the exercise.
The majority of Oregon Soldiers deploying for the exercise are traditional Guardsmen who drill one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer. Many of them have families, are attending college and work for civilian employers. The 3-116th Cavalry Battalion task force is made up of infantry from Company A (The Dalles) and Company B (Woodburn); mechanics from Detachment 2, Company F (Hood River); and logistics/administrative support from Headquarters and Headquarters Company (La Grande).
"The Oregon National Guard continues to demonstrate our ability to simultaneously support both state and nation on multiple fronts," said Stephen Bomar, director of public affairs, Oregon Military Department. "Whether responding to emergencies here at home, deploying overseas, or partnering in multinational exercises like Saber Guardian, when we are needed, we are there."