NEWS | April 7, 2017

Partner Nations and U.S. Show Off Special Forces Ability

By Sgt. 1st Class Suzanne Ringle 77th Combat Aviation Brigade

Part of 77th Combat Aviation Brigade’s mission, throughout the nine-month deployment to the Middle East, involves the continued development and fostering of relations with partner nations' helicopter units for U.S. Army Central Command. Operation Eagle Resolve is, in part, a culmination of those efforts.

Many foreign and U.S. dignitaries take in the demonstration from a high vantage point while an AH-64D, Apache helicopter, keeps the area secure. In the field below a Super Puma from Kuwait and a pair of UH-60 Black Hawks, one from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the other from the U.S. stir up clouds of dust as assault teams dismount. Ground troops in armored vehicles leave dust trails while making their way to the rendezvous points just as huge plumes of vibrant green and purple smoke offer the team further concealment from the U.S. Soldiers, acting as combatants, hiding in a building. The teams move fast to close the distance over the barren ground before the wind can clear the air. Several flash bangs, and a gas explosion go off with machine guns firing a volley. The acting terrorists put up a fight but the teams capture one hauling him away in an ambulance and the other remains motionless, mission complete.

The partnership program is not a training program. The 77th Combat Aviation Brigade Partnership Officer, Army Capt. Justin Cajero, reiterated this sentiment many times. What the program offers both the U.S. and foreign nations is the opportunity to work together where both sides get the experience of how the other operates. Regarding training missions or demonstrations the Partnership Officer said, “The premise is if we were to engage in a common enemy tomorrow, would we and the other nation counterpart, be better suited to take on that threat. And would the exchange being conducted contribute to that higher level of interoperability.”

The 77th Combat Aviation Brigade’s deployment ends soon. They will turn the reigns of partnership building and maintaining over to the next group and consider this phase of their deployment a success. With 50-percent, more engagements than previous brigades plus the successful final demonstration with Operation Eagle Resolve, the brigade ends the deployment with a bang.