Story and photos by Capt. Jaymon Bell, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs
BAUMHOLDER, Germany (Sept. 9, 2016) – Soldiers from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and American Soldiers from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade recently completed Griffin Strike 2016, here, Aug. 30 through Sept. 8 in the range training area.
Griffin Strike is a 10-day multi-national exercise aimed at training joint fires support teams in the coordination and control of artillery, fixed wing close air support and rotary wing assets. The live fire scenarios and field training exercises replicate real world operations and allow the teams to de-conflict airspace vertically, horizontally and with regards to time.
The exercise is hosted by the joint fires support training center at Idar Oberstein.
“Our goal in the near future is to have more European nations training here,” said Oberstleutnant Joachim Schwarz, the commander of the joint fires support center.
Joint terminal attack controllers and joint fires support teams from Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium attended the exercise.
Each scenario honed their skills at calling for fire from AH-64 Apaches, directing artillery and maneuvering fixed wing gun and bombing runs.
Rotary wing aviation came in the form of four AH-64 Apache helicopters from C Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 12th CAB.
The Bundeswehr provided a platoon of Panzerhaubitze 2000, 155mm self-propelled howitzers, from Artillery Battalion 345, Idar-Oberstein, and a platoon of 122mm mortars from Paratrooper Regiment 26, Zweibrucken.
The Royal Netherlands Army added a platoon of 81mm mortars to the exercise.
Belgian Air component F16 Fighting Falcons and Luftwaffe Panavia Tornado’s flew sorties to round out the exercise with fixed wing close air support and aerial ordinance drops.
The Royal Netherlands Army took home the first place trophy.
The 12th Combat Aviation Brigade trains and conducts aviation support across the full spectrum of unified land operations for United States Army Europe, European Command, NATO, and in support of CENTCOM, AFRICOM and other contingency locations around the globe.
For the story as it appears on the Army News Service, visit www.army.mil/article/174844.