36,500 NATO (North Atlantic Troaty Organisation) troops from West Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the United States, involving helicopter assault division, started exercises on Wednesday (8 September).
AERIAL VIEW of helicopters flying over fields
MVs Helicopters flying over (4 shots)
MV Tanks and armoured cars through village (7 shots)
MVs Helicopters flying over (2 shots)
AERIAL SHOTS and GVs Helicopters landing in field (2 shots)
GV Pan helicopters and cross field on arms transporters (2 shots)
MVs Troops crossing stream
MVs Troops out of helicopters and crossing field and stream (3 shots)
GV PAN Troops leaving helicopter
MV Tanks parked along road (2 shots)
MV Phantom fighter jet in air
MV Flars smoking in field as troops look on (2 shots)
MV Helicopter lands as Phantom fighter jet flies overhead (2 shots)
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Background: 36,500 NATO (North Atlantic Troaty Organisation) troops from West Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the United States, involving helicopter assault division, started exercises on Wednesday (8 September). Codenamed Gordian Shield, the four-day exercise was being held northeast of Frankfurt, in West Germany.
SYNOPSIS: The helicopter assault division is the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division. The division has 11,000 soldiers and is equipped with 400 helicopters. In the first assault of the exercise 60 helicopters were used to take troops to the front.
The ground attack involved 6,000 wheeled and 2,500 tracked vehicles. Early into the attack was the German Panzer Division. They're equipped with modern weapons such as the Marder combat vehicle and the Leopard combat tank. These are both designed for speed over long distances.
The exercise is being conducted as one of NATO's Forge/Reforger 76 series. Units are on manoeuvres twenty four hours a day. The helicopters are also doing a lot of night flying. The main objective is the training of commanders in international operations involving all military services. The exercise will also test air assault forces in simulated combat operations in Europe.
Throughout the four days the emphasis on the use of safety precautions is being stressed. Extreme care is being stressed. Extreme care is also being taken to avoid damage to real estate and property. Operations in densely populated areas and use of the Autobahns is also being kept to a minimum.
The U.S. also used 96 F-4 Phantom fighter-bombers in the exercise. They'd been flown to Europe from Holoman Air Force base in New Mexico, which involved seven aerial refuelings.