DRAWSKO POMORSKIE TRAINING AREA, Poland — The uniforms, salutes and languages may be different, but the training conducted in this exercise is nothing short of collective, cohesive and comprehensive for the soldiers of the 1st “Ironhorse” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
Steadfast Jazz 13 is a NATO-sponsored multilateral, multifaceted exercise held in Poland and the Baltic states, from Oct. 27 to Saturday. The exercise is designed to train, evaluate and certify the NATO Response Force, a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and special operations components designed to deploy quickly wherever needed.
The training is an opportunity for the brigade to practice coordination, liaison and interoperability with multinational partners, said Col. Steve Gilland, brigade commander.
“The exercise also allows us to train our staff processes and become more familiar with the NATO process to leverage more capability in support of the French Rapid Reaction Corps, the headquarters we will support in the event of a (NATO Response Force) deployment.”
Members of the Ironhorse team joined troops from 17 different nations to conduct joint, multinational training with other NATO forces during the exercise.
The Ironhorse Brigade is the U.S. European Command’s first regionally-aligned force. Its capabilities, along with the skill sets from U.S. Army Europe’s forward deployed brigades and enablers, represent the U.S. commitment to the NATO Response Force.
“Our key takeaways are education and implementation of the NATO standardized practices, interoperability with NATO allies and partners, and leveraging our unique capabilities in support of the (response force) headquarters,” Gilland said.
Although only a small element of the Ironhorse Brigade is participating in the exercise in Poland and Norway, the brigade will implement lessons learned during future training exercises to include their upcoming field exercise, Ironhorse Rampage.
“Being able to share and experience multiple ways of problem solving really broadened my ability to work in a joint environment,” said 1st Lt. Creshaun Sanders, brigade chemical officer. “I’ve built great relationships with my fellow NATO counterparts and I intend to use the skills I’ve learned in future exercises.”
The Ironhorse Brigade will return to Europe to conduct additional exercises in 2014.
For more information on Steadfast Jazz 2013, go to www.eur.army.mil/steadfastjazz.