U.S. military personnel will participate in REAL THAW 17, a Portuguese-led, large joint and combined forces exercise, which will take place from March 5 to 17, 2017 in Beja, Portugal. REAL THAW 17 will develop and integrate realistic interoperability tasks both in the air and on the ground between multinational units. Aside from Portugal and the United States, Belgium, Denmark, France, and the Netherlands are also participating in the exercise.
Participating forces will execute training missions aimed to merge and employ different platforms toward a major objective, covering a vast range of activities to include air-to-air and air-to-ground training, tactical air transport operations, and close air support.
On March 14, several distinguished visitors, including the Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires Herro Mustafa, will be present in Beja to attend the Open Exercise Day. This will include a briefing on REAL THAW 17 and a demonstration of integrated and simulated operations.
U.S. Air Force Europe will participate in REAL THAW 17 with two C-130J “Super Hercules” and approximately 70 personnel from the 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. During the exercise, the 37th Airlift Squadron will focus on tactical airlift training including formation and low-level flying, assault landings, and personnel and equipment airdrops with paratroopers from U.S. Army Europe and partner nations.
Other U.S. military unit participants include: paratrooper support personnel from the 435th Contingency Response Group, 435th Air Ground Operations Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany; a small airdrop support team from United States Army Europe’s (USAREUR) 5th Quartermaster Company, 21st Special Troops Battalion, 21st Theater Sustainment Command (21 TSC), Kaiserslautern, Germany; and approximately 170 paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), Grafenwoehr, Germany. Also participating are two MV-22s, one KC-130 and 60 U.S. Marines from the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Africa (SPMAGTF-CR-AF) staged in Moron Air Base, Spain.
Multinational training engagements such as this one strengthen military-to-military relationships, increase NATO interoperability, and demonstrate our commitment to the safety and security of the Alliance.
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