RICHMOND, Va. –
Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Richmond-based Bravo Company, 429th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team provided support to Saber Junction 22 Sept. 3-17, 2022, at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany.
"The work ethic of Bravo Company was overshadowed only by the manner in which they represented the commonwealth,” said 1st Lt. Phillip R. Townley, commander of Bravo Company. “From their military bearing to the respect displayed while enjoying the German culture, the men and women of this company set the standard for being good stewards of the time and money invested in facilitating their trip.”
Bravo Company mechanics from multiple disciplines worked with both active duty and civilian technicians to maintain and repair equipment used during the training exercise. Soldiers maintained a steady state of operations, moving between physical fitness, maintenance and repair, and hands-on training tasks. In total, Bravo Company Soldiers completed approximately 36 repairs across all military occupational specialties represented within the unit.
The Soldiers also experienced formal and informal periods of instruction daily related to safety, Command Maintenance Discipline Program, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, resilience, and MOS cross-training. In addition to the services and repairs performed, the company also completed numerous technical inspections, according to Townley.
Soldiers participated in a cultural day, visiting the nearby town of Regensburg, Germany, and, as an added bonus, they were given an opportunity to take part in helicopter flights, courtesy of the aviation wing.
Command Sgt. Maj. Irving N. Reed Jr., 116th IBCT command sergeant major, visited with the Bravo Company Soldiers. Reed, who is currently deployed to Kosovo with 116th IBCT headquarters, presented coins to deserving Soldiers.
“When you consider the overall experience, Virginians can rest assured their force will return with a higher state of readiness, equipped with added knowledge that will serve them to better perform their duties both at home and abroad,” Townley said. “I speak for all senior leaders when I say I am humbled to have had the privilege of being along for the ride."
The Saber Junction exercise series is held annually at 7th Army Training Command’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center as part of U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s exercise plans to assess the readiness of European-based units, like the 173rd Airborne Brigade “Sky Soldiers,” to execute unified land operations in a joint, combined environment with participating Allied and partner nations.
Saber Junction 22 is scheduled to go from Aug. 29 to Sept. 20, 2022, and involves more than 4,400 participants from the U.S., Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.