IDF troops take part in US-EUCOM’s Spirit X

Nearly 1,300 troops from the US military took part and approximately 4,400 troops from allied and partner nations participated.

April 21, 2019 23:51
2 minute read.
Israeli soldiers from the Home Front Command Unit gather as they take part in an urban warfare drill

Israeli soldiers from the Home Front Command Unit gather as they take part in an urban warfare drill inside a mock village at Tze'elim army base in Israel's Negev Desert June 11, 2017. Picture taken June 11, 2017. . (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)


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Israeli troops took part in Allied Spirit X, a two-week long US Army Europe run-multinational exercise led by Germany.

Nearly 1,300 troops from the US military took part and approximately 4,400 troops from allied and partner nations including Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom participated, the US Army website reported.
The exercise was held March 30 to April 17 at the US Army’s 7th Army Training Command’s Hohenfels Training Area in southeastern Germany. It was led by Germany’s 1st Armored Division (1AD) which commanded the multinational brigade headquarters.

“You must be willing to train and fight alongside your partner,” Maj.-Gen. Jürgen-Joachim von Sandrart, commander of 1AD was quoted as saying.

The multinational exercise was directed by US Army Europe, 7th Army Training Command and was “designed to develop and enhance NATO and key partner interoperability and readiness across specified war-fighting functions,” the US Army said, adding that: “Allied Spirit X is to stress current multinational communications methods and test the functionality of a brigade-sized element with a multinational configuration.”

According to US Army reports, Israeli snipers from the 35th Paratroopers Brigade took part in drills alongside American snipers from the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team and 1st Infantry Division.

“We came out here to Grafenwoehr, to work with the Israeli snipers,” US Army Sgt. Phillip West, a sniper – that participated in the exercises – was quoted as saying. “To compare our equipment and techniques and to do some drills with them.”

During the drill the American snipers, who were using M110-SASS rifles, and the Israelis using the SR25-CARBINE semi-automatic sniper rifle, shot at targets from 300-800 meters in both prone and standing positions.

“We’re similar in a lot of ways, but the Israeli snipers also do things a little bit differently. So, it’s really good training to get out here and work with them. They are really good at what they do, they are very proficient,” West added.

Another American sniper quoted by the US Army website said that compared to American sniping, the IDF troops have different training techniques than their American counterparts, focusing on quickness and memory as opposed to long distance and calculated training.

“Training is going very well with the Israeli snipers,” US Army Sgt. Tacoma L. Haack was quoted as saying, adding that “there are some parts of their training that we don’t do. So, it’s nice to get out here and see how they shoot and what techniques they use.”

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