Special Operations operators from 15 different countries were part of the over 3000 troops that recently took part in the Allied Spirt VI exercise. The training was conducted at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Readiness Training Center located in Hohenfels, Germany and took place for nearly the entire month of March.

Allied Spirit VI is a multinational exercise training service members from Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Macedonia, Kosovo, Latvia, the Netherlands, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the U.S. on integrating special operations and conventional forces to increase their effectiveness.

“The primary purpose of this exercise is providing a venue for the 1st Latvian Brigade to train in a Joint Task Force environment and increase their interoperability with both U.S. units as well as other multinational forces,” said Army Maj. Robert Temple, special operations force cell planner at JMRC. “Within that [joint task force] environment they have a replicated special operations component command.”

During the exercise, soldiers from 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group trained on their advise and assist mission while working closely with Estonian forces, who provided mission command of all special operations elements, and Macedonian special operations mission command elements.

“We are here supporting our Estonian Special Operations Task Group brethren. They are one of our long-time partners that we’ve worked with and continue to work within our Partnership Development Program,” explained a company commander for 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group. “Additionally, we get to work with the Latvians which are another one of our primary partner nations.”

This training program is conducted to foster interoperability and ease of operations between the member countries. The ability to work together seamlessly is invaluable in joint operations and pulls together our eastern allies in the face of Russian expansion in Eastern Europe. Battle staff drills, call for fire missions and the safe clearance of lines are just some of the areas that have proved valuable in the past.

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Photo courtesy US Army