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SABER GUARDIAN 2019 ~ Danube Crossing Finale

Romanian Naval Special Forces operator from 164 FNOS - he wears the new Romanian Land Forces camouflage pattern [©BM]
As Exercise SABER GUARDIAN draws to a close the last combined effort saw a multinational assault crossing of the mighty River Danube, reports Bob Morrison.


SABER GUARDIAN 2019, which has seen action across Bulgarian, Hungarian and Romanian territory, is co-led by Romanian Land Forces and US Army Europe. The exercise, involving over 8,000 personnel, has included a range of activities designed to improve the integration of multinational forces. Primary countries taking part include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, and the United States.

Troops from 307 Marine Regiment move forward to the banks of the Danube [©BM]

Today’s spectacular finale, primarily involving US, Romanian, Polish and Bulgarian soldiers, marines, sailors and Special Forces, with rotary and fixed wing air support, in addition to a riverine flotilla, was based around an assault crossing of the River Danube in Romania. Both Romanian and American pontoon bridges and ferries were in action to assure that the multinational battle group’s armour could be safely and speedily conveyed to the far bank, roughly 500 metres distant.

Taking photographs of an event like this is just the tip of the iceberg and it will take some time for us to research the units and equipment which participated, but in the meantime hopefully these images will bring you a flavour of today’s dynamic display.

[ images © Bob Morrison ]

A US Army M88A2 ARV is ferried across the Danube to prepare the crossing site [©BM]
A Mihail Kogălniceanu class river monitor suppresses enemy positions on the far bank [©BM]
Romanian Marines head off to assault the far bank in preparation for the main crossing [©BM]
A Romanian landing craft transports Polish Rosomak IFVs for the main advance [©BM]
With a 500m long ribbon bridge established a US Avenger crosses to provide SHORAD for the multinational battle group [©BM]
A Polish Rosomak crosses the ribbon bridge [©BM]
US M1A1 Abrams MBTs moving out [©BM]
The Romanian Navy also has a new camo pattern -this officer previously served on one of the monitors [©BM]
Italian Typhoons were among the fast jets that provided top cover today [©BM]
Helicopters taking part included US Black Hawks and Chinooks as well as Romanian Pumas [©BM]

[ images © Bob Morrison ]

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