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SABER STRIKE 2017 – RM Commandos In Suwalki Gap

Royal Marines link up with Lithuanian Forces and a LITHSOF operator at LZ2 [© Bob Morrison]

On Saturday evening (17th June) a multinational Task Group led by X-Ray Company of 45 Commando was flown forward into the Suwalki Gap to neutralise enemy positions prior to NATO’s Polish-based eFP battlegroup dashing from Orzysz to Rukla in Lithuania.

The Task Group, which consisted primarily of Polish Air Cavalrymen and US National Guardsmen in addition to Royal Marine Commandos, was dropped in two waves onto two different Landing Zones roughly six to ten kilometres south of three platoon-size enemy positions along the proposed route of the eFP convoy. Led by JACKAL 4×4 HMTs from A Squadron of the Light Dragoons – aka Mustang Troop of 2nd Squadron Second US Cavalry Regiment – the convoy consisted of three mixed packets of American, British, Polish and Romanian vehicles.

Lithuanian OpFor infantryman fights back gamely but forlornly at his attackers [© Bob Morrison]

C&S was on the ground at LZ2 when both waves landed, either side of terrific thunderstorm which almost caused the lift by US Army Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters to be cancelled, and at 07:00 on Sunday morning we were at Objective ADAMS when one of three simultaneous Task Force attacks were launched on the OpFor defenders. Within the hour all three platoon-sized phad been neutralised and Alliance Forces were in control of all key road junctions along the convoy route.

We will bring readers more detail of this phase of SABER STRIKE ’17, which dovetailed into IRON WOLF ’17, in a future issue of COMBAT & SURVIVAL Magazine.

Top left to bottom right: US Army Chinook touches down at LZ2; Royal Marines and Polish cavalrymen disembark from one of two Chinooks; US National Guardsman and Royal Marine side by side at Obj ADAMS next morning; British JACKALs lead the first eFP convoy down the now secured route [© Bob Morrison]

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