CYPRUS (AFNS) --
The U.S. and Cypriot military conducted bilateral non-evacuation operations training as part of exercise Silver Falcon 2023 Feb. 6-24 in Cyprus.
Silver Falcon, a bilateral exercise with Cypriot partners, is intended to prepare U.S. forces to exercise emergency response procedures to include support to noncombatant evacuation operations.
“Silver Falcon 2023 is the first of annual Silver Series of [U.S. European Command] exercises designed to codify how the U.S. will respond to a regional crisis or emergency in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Alexander Gonzalez, Task Force Cyprus headquarter director of staff.
This exercise is designed to enhance interoperability between both nations’ militaries and ensure ready and postured forces for any contingency, particularly those involving crisis response. This exercise serves as an opportunity for USEUCOM and the Cypriot military to exercise together and to learn from one another.
"These exercises allow us to enhance our emergency response procedures and interoperability with our Cypriot partners," said U.S. Air Force Col. Steven Anderson, Task Force Cyprus commander. "By strengthening our ability to evacuate personnel safely and efficiently globally, we're prepared to support any real-world emergency."
U.S. Air Forces in Europe members conducted bilateral airfield assessments, medical training, and briefings to discuss emergency response capabilities and procedures. They also set up military communication services to test their ability to quickly establish communications capabilities as well as conducted a noncombative evacuation operations tracking systems evaluation to test their ability to in-process personnel from various locations.
The U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade conducted squad blank and live-fire training, completed a 20-kilometer ruck march, tactical, and marksmanship training with their Cypriot partners.
“USAFE sent a select team of HQ staff and personnel from various wings across USAFE AOR to conduct bilateral engagements with our Cypriot partners in C2 [command and control], medical and airport operations enhancing response in case of any regional crisis or emergency,” Gonzalez added.
SF23 represents another step in the deliberate and strategic relationship between the U.S. and Cyprus and contributes to regional stability.