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SABER GUARDIAN 23 ~ River-Crossing In Romania

SABER GUARDIAN 2023 [© NATO Multimedia]

NATO Allies demonstrate river-crossing prowess during Exercise SABER GUARDIAN 23 on the Danube near Bordușani in Romania.


Allied forces crossed the Danube River in Romania during exercise SABER GUARDIAN 23, proving their ability to move rapidly through difficult terrain during military operations.

The manoeuvre, called a ‘wet gap crossing’ by military planners, involved small boats and pontoon barges, which the Allied forces strung together to form a bridge across the rushing river. This enabled vehicles from nine NATO Allies – Bulgaria, France, Italy, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania and the United States – to cross the river, with helicopters and infantry providing covering fire against simulated enemies. These crossings are complicated and precarious operations, requiring skill and coordination to perform successfully.

Held annually in the Black Sea region to help NATO Allies practise this vital skill, SABER GUARDIAN is part of the DEFENDER 23 series of exercises, which are aimed at improving the United States’ ability to rapidly reinforce Europe and perform complex military tasks with Allied troops. The exercise ran from 29 May to 9 June 2023.

SABER GUARDIAN 2023 [© NATO Multimedia]

This NATO Multimedia footage, captured 6th June and released yesterday, includes shots of multinational forces performing a river crossing, and interviews with US and Romanian officers.

Shot list:-

  • 00:00 ~ Simulated artillery fire on river bank
  • 00:05 ~ Infantry Fighting Vehicles providing supporting fire from camouflaged positions
  • 00:09 ~ Romanian soldiers storm a beach in rigid-hulled inflatable rafts
  • 00:25 ~ A Romanian vehicle drives onto a French raft
  • 00:31 ~ Romanian river flotilla
  • 00:44 ~ Soldiers run across the bridge
  • 00:50 ~ A Dutch raft carries two Romanian vehicles across the river
  • 00:58 ~ A US Army Chinook flies over the river
  • 01:06 ~ A US raft carries two Romanian vehicles across the river
  • 01:14 ~ Bulgarian Humvees cross the river on a raft
  • 01:18 ~ Romanian Army IAR 330 helicopter flies above the training area
  • 01:25 ~ Romanian Army IAR 330 and US Army AH-64 Apache gunships fly above the training area
  • 01:41 ~ A French convoy on its way to cross the bridge
  • 01:47 ~ A Humvee from north Macedonia on its way to cross the bridge
  • 01:50 ~ Vehicles from North Macedonia, Portugal and Romania on their way to cross the bridge
  • 01:54 ~ Polish vehicles driving onto a US raft
  • 02:05 ~ A Portuguese vehicle crosses the bridge
  • 02:12 ~ A French convoy approaches the bridge
  • 02:20 ~ French vehicles and soldiers cross the bridge
  • 02:33 ~ A US raft docks at the beach
  • 02:43 ~ A US Bradley infantry fighting vehicle crosses the bridge
  • 03:01 ~ Multinational vehicles lined up before the exercise
  • 03:21 ~ Soundbite – Lt Col John Vickery, 1st Infantry Division, US Army
  • 03:54 ~ Soundbite – Lt Col John Vickery
  • 04:34 ~ Soundbite – Lt Col John Vickery
  • 04:51 ~ Soundbite – Cpt Don Hamrick, 118th Infantry Regiment, US Army
  • 05:49 ~ Soundbite – Cpt Don Hamrick
  • 06:23 ~ Soundbite – Lt Col Șerban Adrian, 96th Engineer Battalion, Romanian Army


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