Photo Information

Romanian soldiers with the 341st Infantry Battalion rehearse air-support operations with IAR 330L Pumas, along with U.S. Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa 19.1, Marine Forces Europe and Africa, during Platinum Eagle 19.1, a multilateral training exercise held at Babadag Training Area, Romania, March 19, 2019. SPMAGTF-CR-AF is deployed to conduct crisis-response and theater-security operations in Africa and promote regional stability by conducting military-to-military training exercises throughout Europe and Africa. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1st Lt. Christin St. John)

Photo by 1st Lt. Christin St John

Stronger Together

17 Apr 2019 | 1st. Lt. Christin St. John Marine Corps Forces Europe

U.S. Marines and Sailors with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa 19.1, Marine Forces Europe and Africa, participated in exercise Platinum Eagle 19.1 held at Babadag Training Area, Romania, March 11-22, 2019.

Platinum Eagle 19.1 is a multilateral, combined-arms training exercise aimed at developing and enhancing the relationships and tactics of the U.S. Marines and allied nations.

This year, soldiers with the Romanian 341st Infantry Battalion, Georgian 12th Infantry Battalion, Bulgarian 4th Mechanized Battalion, Moldovan 3rd Infantry Brigade and marines with the Ukrainian 503rd Battalion participated along with U.S. Marines and Sailors with SPMAGTF-CR-AF.

“We are here working on tactics, techniques and different procedures with our allied partners,” said 1st Lt. Caleb Prather, an infantry platoon commander from the ground combat element of SPMAGTF-CR-AF 19.1. “We’re here building relationships and sharing knowledge.”

The exercise included various training evolutions throughout the 10 days, including patrolling, live-fire ranges for squad, platoon, and company level attacks, counter-improvised explosive device training, live-fire breaching drills, casualty-evacuation rehearsals, air-support rehearsals with Romanian IAR 330 Pumas, live-fire sniper training, and live-fire support by fire training with machine gun sections and 60 mm and 82 mm mortar sections.

Training with different countries proved beneficial for every rank of infantryman participating in the exercise. Different languages, cultures, and ideas were the daily learning points for the participating Marines, Sailors and soldiers. This, coupled with live-fire training, provided the Marines and Sailors participating in Platinum Eagle 19.1 valuable insight into why interoperability is so vital.

“It’s important to train with other nations,” said Cpl. Nicolas Guillen, a mortars section leader from the GCE, SPMAGTF-CR-AF. “America’s not the only one to go in when the need arises; we always go in as a coalition. We achieve the same goal at the end of the day: putting rounds on target.”

All participants of Platinum Eagle 19.1 shared a common realization - we are stronger together.