Spc. Savannah Roy
3CAB Public Affairs
Helicopters from 2-3 General Support Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, fly towards the landing zone during Hawk Strike in Hungary on March 5. Hawk Strike allows units to conduct movements in a realistic, high-intensity environment to ensure readiness and the ability to fully integrate with any NATO partner and ally, such as the Hungarian Forces. (Photo by Spc. Savannah Roy)

Hawk Strike: 3CAB integrates with Hungarian forces

Marne Air Soldiers from 2-3 General Support Aviation Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, conducted an Air Assault demonstration called Hawk Strike on March 5 alongside Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and Hungarian 2nd Special Operations Forces, near Újdörōgd Base, Hungary.
Hawk Strike is a realistic training exercise that demonstrates the ability to work alongside our Hungarian allies in a complex training environment, said Lt. Col. Kenneth Ferguson, Battalion Commander, 2-3 GSAB, 3rd CAB, 3rd ID.
“When we work together we aren’t necessarily trying to teach each other, but we always learn from each other,” Ferguson said. “By understanding how the Hungarian Defense Force tactically maneuvers, we can integrate, fight and operate together seamlessly.”
The open communication and willingness to learn from each other allowed each unit to conduct movements in a realistic, high-intensity environment to ensure readiness and the ability to fully integrate with any NATO partner and ally.
“The most significant tactic we’ve learned from the Hungarian Defense Force is the importance of signals and different ways to communicate,” said Capt. Daniel Bader, Charlie Company Commander, 1-8 Cav., 2ABCT, 1CD. “We used a lot of visual signals, such as smoke grenades and flares, to allow us to clearly communicate what we were doing so that we could fight together, despite the language barrier.”
Training with allies allows U.S. Army units to build interoperability with their European counterparts across the continent. The Army’s presence in Europe offers reassurance to its allies that it remains committed to NATO and the European defense.
“The disciplined professionals of the Hungarian Defense Force gave us the chance to build multinational relationships and showcase our proficiency during Hawk Strike,” Ferguson said. “We’ve formed a strong partnership and an understanding for how they employ their combat power.”
By conducting Hawk Strike, Marne Air Soldiers are able to maintain readiness and proficiency, along with preparing for the upcoming exercise, Defender-Europe 20. Defender 20 is slated to be the largest deployment of Soldiers for a European exercise in twenty-five years, adding up to nearly 20,000 U.S. Soldiers.