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NEWS | June 8, 2023

Army Field Support Battalion-Benelux hosts DEFENDER 23 APS-2 draw

By Sgt. Alexander Chatoff 405th Army Field Support Brigade

The 405th AFSB's Army Field Support Battalion-Benelux hosted an observation of an Army Prepositioned Stock issued to the 50th Multi-Role Bridge Company in support of Saber Guardian 23 at Mihail Koganiceanu Air Base May 19, 2023. The APS observation demonstrated and communicated the U.S. Army’s ability to safely, effectively and rapidly transport, issue and recover APS to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base that will be used in upcoming wet gap crossing exercises in Frecatei and Bordusani, Romania. An APS Draw is meant to strategically preposition vital U.S. Army equipment in order to reduce deployment response times.

“Our role is to provide strategic capabilities in the shortest possible time to minimize the time required for the U.S. Army and our allies to respond to a real-world situation,” said Maj. James Maskovyak, the executive officer assigned to the 405th Army Field Support Battalion-Benelux.

“It would normally take a unit in the United States to send equipment here 45 to 60 days. In our case, it came to Romania in about 7 to 10 days,” said Mr. Charles Sherwood, the combat readiness storage program lead of the 405th Army Field Support Battalion-Benelux, who talked about the relocation of army prepositioned equipment in central Europe.

Rapidly deploying equipment from APS improves deterrence capabilities. Showing the rapid transport, issuing, and recovery of vehicles in Romania is a key to improving deterrence objectives.

“This is training that has been in the making for many years,” said Mr. Scott Schneider, the quality assurance specialist of the 405th Army Field Support Battalion-Benelux. “We do this every year in different locations for training the Soldiers.”

A key objective of Saber Guardian includes drawing of APS to support large scale training that will occur at wet gap crossings in Frecatei and Bordusani, Romania, in early June.

Saber Guardian 23, a component of DEFENDER 23, is an exercise co-led by Romanian Land Forces and the U.S. Army at various locations in Romania to improve the integration of multinational combat forces by engaging in different events such as vehicle road marches, medical training exercises, and river crossings.

DEFENDER 23 is a U.S. Army Europe and Africa led exercise focused on the strategic deployment of continental United States-based forces, employment of Army Prepositioned Stocks, and interoperability with Allies and partners.

Taking place from 22 April to 23 June, DEFENDER 23 demonstrates USAREUR-AF’s ability to aggregate U.S.-based combat power quickly in Eastern Europe, increase lethality of the NATO Alliance through long-distance fires, build unit readiness in a complex joint, multi-national environment, and leverage host nation capabilities to increase USAREUR-AF’s operational reach.

DEFENDER 23 includes more than 7,800 U.S. and 15,000 multi-national service members from more than 20 nations who will participate including, but not limited to: Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.