GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – About 3,700 service members from 13 nations gathered at the Hohenfels Training Area in southeastern Germany to participate in the seventh iteration of Allied Spirit, which is scheduled to run from Oct. 30 - Nov. 22, 2017.
Allied Spirit VII is a 7th Army Training Command-conducted, U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR)-directed multinational exercise that focuses on testing participating military units’ ability to work together.
During Allied Spirit VII, Lithuania's “Griffin” Brigade commands the multinational brigade headquarters.
“Being in this environment and experiencing a training event of this magnitude has been an incredible opportunity,” said Pvt. Chancellor Adams, an infantryman with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, Kansas.
The exercise is unique in its ability to provide hands-on training and testing of secure communications between NATO allies and partners.
“I've been able to use the skills I have been taught and see first-hand just how effective we are as an Army,” said Adams, a native of Skiatook, Okla.
In one scenario presented for Adams and his teammates, a mock village called “Schwend” must be defended for several days. Using small-arms weapons and several tracked vehicles, like the M-1 Abrams tank and M-113 Armored Personnel Carriers, the 2-70 AR was able to fight off opposing forces that attempted to seize and occupy the village.
“It's been great to see young Soldiers, like Pvt. Adams, really benefit from Allied Spirit VII,” said Staff Sgt. Wyatt Peterson, an infantryman with C Co., 2-70 AR. “This kind of training is what builds the cohesion we need to operate as a reliable team. When we go out, I need to know the Soldiers to my right and left got my back, this is the kind of training that builds that trust.”
Not only is Allied Spirit VII a great opportunity for Soldiers of all ranks to gain experience in simulated-combat environments, it also provides the U.S. the chance to strengthen bonds and demonstrate the United States’ resolve to stand side-by-side in Europe with NATO allies and partners.
“Working with my team in this environment has brought us all close,” said Adams. “They're like my second family. I can depend on them, and they can depend on me.”