HOHENFELS, Germany — Soldiers of 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division defended their line during training exercise Combined Resolve XIII, taking a defensive position against their opposing forces at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany.

Combined Resolve was a 20-day multinational training exercise that includes leadership training, live fire and force-on-force, with more than 5,000 service members participating, including allies and partners from 16 other nations.

During the force-on-force training exercise, they conducted simulated battlefield operations from both defensive and offensive fighting positions, to include civilians, mock cities, challenging terrains and a relentless opposing force.

Blackjack Brigade held strong to their unfamiliar forward lines, warding off the opposing forces who were well-practiced, frequently training and refining their battlefield capabilities on Hohenfels terrain. They had a distinct battlefield advantage, as they were typically Soldiers who participated in each rotation of Combined Resolve. The Blackjack Brigade still found a way to win.

“They were able to halt one of our exploitation forces. It was a hard fight and a good job on defense,” OPFOR Capt. Matt McCrary, fire support officer of 1st Battalion 4th Infantry Division, said.

The Blackjack Brigade was evaluated on overall performance by their observer, coach/trainers after the mid-rotation assessment of the defensive portion of the force-on-force training exercise for CBR.

“We’ve been really impressed with the brigade main command post’s ability to receive reporting and coordinate amongst their battalions. They have also been doing a fantastic job predicting the enemy’s movements and finding them.” Maj. William Deen, brigade senior intelligence trainer, said.

Although the training exercise had many challenges, starting with defensives, it offered many key tactical advantages.

“In a defense position we are able to communicate more effectively, because we are not moving, and generally are located closer together than we would be in an offensive operation,” Maj. Brendon Baker, brigade operations officer, of the 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div., said. “We can use maneuver and fire to gain a position of relative advantage. Our challenge was tying together our obstacle belts across ten kilometers of difficult terrain.”

While a strong defense is crucial, the 2nd BCT also conducted offensive operations to seek and destroy the OPFOR.

Combined Resolve XIII ended on Feb. 5.