Minister Macierewicz on Saber Strike'17
- Here in Orzysz the true power of the NATO alliance is being forged. The effectiveness of the coordination of the actions of the soldiers of the 18 armies as well as the true brotherhood of arms was very visible here, said Minister Antoni Macierewicz during the Saber Strike 17 exercise.
On June 16, 2017, National Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz watched the allied exercise 'Saber Strike 17' at the tactical training field in the military training area in Orzysz.
- Saber Strike 17 exercises include all NATO battlegroups, including Lithuanian, Latvian, and also Estonian. It can be said that they guarantee the security of Poland and all of NATO's eastern flank, said the head of the Ministry of Defense and stressed the huge contribution of the United States Army, which represents 90% of the NATO battlegroup located in Poland.
US Ambassador Paul W. Jones, Commander of the NATO Joint Force Commad in Brunssum General Salvatore Farina, US Army in Europe Commander Lieutenant General Ben Hodges and General Commander of the Polish Armed Forces Major General Jaroslaw Mika, Operational Commander of the Polish Armed Forces Major General Sławomir Wojciechowski, commander of the 16th Pomeranian Mechanized Division, Major General Marek Sokolowski and the US, Canadian, UK, Romanian and Lithuanian Defense Attaché participated in the Distinguished Visitors Day in Orzysz.
US Ambassador to Poland Paul W. Jones has described Saber Strike 17 as another step in the implementation of the NATO Summit in Warsaw decisions:
- The exercise showed that together we are stronger. Poland is a key participant of the battle groups: here with the 15 Mechanized Brigade and with a tank company in Latvia. Today's exercise is the largest in a series of exercises in this part of Europe, that shows NATO's abilities of self-defense. America is proud to have our soldiers serve with the Poles and other NATO allies in this important region - said the US ambassador.
General Farina expressed his appreciation to the Polish soldiers:
- Minister, you may be proud of the Polish Armed Forces, their soldiers and their commanders. This exercise has shown that you are a strong country, contributing to the alliance's adaptation and that you are at the forefront of strengthening our defense and deterring opponents - said the JFC Brunssum commander.
Ben Hodges, the commander of the US Army in Europe, drew attention to the role of the Alliance and Polish-American cooperation:
- Poland is a leader in the Alliance and owes its leadership to its president, its defense minister and its army, which is not only modernized, but also serves as an example for other countries. (...) It has been just 11 months since the NATO Summit in Warsaw and we have all the battle groups exercising. This speed is historical. (...) Poland is becoming the center of gravity for American army in Europe.
Observation of the exercise gave General Hodges an opportunity to notice the interaction and attitude of the soldiers:
- Security and defense are not just about equipment, it involves young men and women ready to take on the service and release their talents. Those who have joined the army had known they could be sent on a mission, and that is their strength. I am not worried about the future because I have met so many wonderful young men and women who defend our alliance.
The head of Polish Ministry of national Defense listened to introductory briefing on the exercise Saber Strike 17 in Poland given by the commander of the Polish 15th Mechanized Brigade Brigadier General Jaroslaw Gromadzinski and watched the training episodes of the exercise.
The soldiers carried out repulsion of the attacking enemy, trained the close air support by F-16, B-52, B-1B and Mi-24 and W-3 helicopters, MCLC, artillery fire support and the medical evacuation.
In the exercise conducted from 5 to 16 June 2017, nearly 3000 soldiers from several NATO countries are involved: from Poland (1300 soldiers), from the Battle Group Poland stationed in Bemowo Piskie - (1100 allies from the USA, Romania and the United Kingdom); also from Canada and Lithuania (300 soldiers). The dynamic display of military equipment was complementary to the live fire combined arms exercise.