US Army Europe has air-deployed two M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) from Germany to Romania for Exercise RAPID FALCON.
Exercise RAPID FALCON is being conducted in coordination with the Romanian Land Forces at Mihail Kogălniceanu Airbase, near Constanța, and Capu Midia Training Area on the Black Sea Coast.
The exercise integrates the US Air Force, US Special Operation Command Europe and US Navy. On Thursday 19th, two M142 HIMARS ( High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) launchers and personnel from 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade based in Grafenwöhr were flown from Ramstein Air Base by US Air Force 352nd Special Operations Wing MC-130J Commando II aircraft. This HIMARS Rapid Infiltration, or HI-RAIN, involves rapidly deploying the unit and equipment, quickly conducting a raid-type fire mission and then immediately returning to home station.
These manoeuvres, the second 41st FAB live-fire training event outside of Germany and their first in Romania since their reactivation just 90 days ago, is the first time US forces have fired HIMARS from land into the Black Sea in cooperation with Romanian allies; previously USAREUR has only fired Patriot and Stinger air defence missiles at Capu Midia. The bilateral, joint training event is “designed to demonstrate US European Command’s ability to deploy long-range precision fires assets in support of NATO”. USAREUR also says “The ability to rapidly surge combat-ready forces into and across the theatre is critical in projecting forces at a moment’s notice to support the Alliance”.