On 24 March 2015, during Exercise Saber Junction 2015, a SAC C-17 supported a U.S. Army Europe airborne jump at Smârdan training range, Romania. Photo: U.S. Army Europe.
Exercise Saber Junction 2016, which takes place from 31 March to 24 April, will feature several days of air-land operations at the Hohenfels Training Area, Germany. Led by U.S. Army Europe (USAEUR), the annual exercise is designed to promote interoperability with participating Allied and Partner nations. Another focus of the exercise is to evaluate and certify the readiness of the U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade to execute unified land operations in a joint and multinational environment.
At the request of SAC member nation the United States, the Heavy Airlift Wing will support Exercise Saber Junction 2016 with two of its three Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy, is a regular training partner of the 12-nation HAW, based in Pápa, Hungary. However, Exercise Saber Junction 16 will feature units also from six other SAC member nations, including Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. From 11 to 13 April, the two SAC C-17s will operate out of Aviano Air Base, Italy. During this timeframe, the aircraft will carry out several airdrops and support a multi-battalion, multinational airborne jump near Hohenfels.
Exercise Saber Junction 2016 website (U.S. Army Europe):
U.S. Army Europe / 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command news release:
Saber Junction 2016 to test readiness of airborne brigade
Exercise Saber Junction 2016 on DVIDS:
7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command photos of Exercise Saber Junction 2016 on Flickr:
About the Strategic Airlift Capability
Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC), established in 2008, is a multinational program that provides its 12 member nations with assured access to military airlift capability by owning and operating three Boeing C-17A Globemaster III long-range cargo aircraft.
SAC is based at the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF) Pápa Air Base, Hungary.
The SAC Nations are the NATO members Hungary (program host nation), Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the United States and NATO Partnership for Peace nations Finland and Sweden. Each participating nation owns a share of the available flight hours of the SAC C-17As to serve the needs of their national defence, NATO, EU or UN commitments and humanitarian relief efforts.
SAC consists of the 12-nation Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) and the NATO Airlift Management Programme Office (NAM PO). The HAW is the operational unit and the NAM PO, an integral part of the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), is the acquisition and sustainment authority of the SAC C-17A weapon system.
NAM PO contracts Boeing via a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement to provide technical support for the SAC C-17A aircraft.