U.S. Army forces in Europe are preparing for a major journey from Germany to Hungary as part of a training exercise and effort to strengthen a U.S.-Hungarian alliance, service officials said.
The exercise will begin with a 700 kilometer Stryker unit convoy to demonstrate mobility and move from Germany across the Danube River into Hungary.
"Later this year, we will conduct an operation called Brave Warrior where we road march over 700 kilometers from Germany across the Danube river into Hungary. Then we are going to spend two months training with the Hungarians," said Col. John Meyer, Commander, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, U.S. Army Europe.
While not explicitly designed to signal messages to the Russians in light of ongoing tensions, the journey and the training are designed to demonstrate U.S. mobility and resolve with its allies, Meyer explained.
"One of the fundamental responsibilities we have is to reassure our allies and build capability across the alliance," he said. "We can move a formation over 2,000 kilometers across Europe to get to where we are going."
The convoy is slated to take place in September and October of this year, he added.
"The unit will drive its Stryker infantry vehicles from Germany through the Czech Republic and into Hungary for a series of exercises with the Hungarian Army. It is an opportunity for us to strengthen our alliance and our partners in the region. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment is at the tip of the spear for our Army, building capacity with our allies in that part of the world," Lt. Col. Joe Buccino, Army spokesman, told Military.com.
Meyer further explained that the U.S. and its NATO allies do not think of Russia as an adversary but did say U.S. European allies are concerned about Russia's recent activities.
"The countries we are training with are concerned about Russia as a threat to the stability of Europe. We want a strong Europe," he said.
The upcoming exercise and journey comes on the heels of a massive 1,800 kilometer Army convoy through six countries from Estonia to Germany earlier this year called the Dragoon Ride.
"Strykers provide operational mobility. They provide a capability that the other formations in the United States Army cannot provide - the ability to maneuver throughout the alliance," Meyer said.
The Army is also looking to acquire a new 30mm cannon for the vehicle to increase its lethality. The additional weapon is designed to allow Strykers to better position themselves to fire anti-armor weapons by using the 30mm cannon to destroy lighter obstacles, Meyer explained
"The 30mm cannon is designed to facilitate our anti-armor capability. Javelin missiles are anti-armor and what we use to destroy armor," Meyer added.
-- Kris Osborn can be reached at Kris.Osborn@military.com