Exercise Black Swan 2017 – An exercise was recently held in Hungary that saw the participation of over eight countries. Exercise Black Swan 17 was a special operations forces exercise held in several European locations. Over eight countries participated in the exercise. The U.S. 20th Special Forces Group , 173rd Airborne Brigade, and 10th Combat Aviation Brigade all provided elements to participate and support the multi-nation exercise.
The exercise took place from June 26 to July 22 and included both special operations and conventional forces. Army Colonel Derek Lipson, the commander of the 20th Special Forces Group stated:
“20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) worked with SOF from Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; establishing a Hungarian-led Special Operations Component Command conducting an exercise across Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. More than 600 soldiers participated in this exercise, reinforcing allied relationships, conventional and special operations interoperability, interdependence and integration.”
U.S special operations personnel worked with Hungarian counterparts to assist in the planning and execution of the exercise. During the exercise U.S. SOF worked with their Hungarian hosts at many levels of the exercise command structure.
The exercise was part of a larger exercise held at the same time in Europe called Saber Guardian 2017. The integration of the SOF exercise with the much larger Saber Guardian exercise enabled participants to rehearse and demonstrate integration between special operations and conventional forces to prepare for real-world contingencies. In addition, Exercise Sea Breeze 2017 – employing SOF maritime and aviation units – was also part of Saber Guardian.
“Special Operators Hone Skills During Exercise Black Swan 17”, Department of Defense, July 28, 2017.
“U.S., NATO Forces Train to Deter and Defend in Saber Guardian 2017”, Department of Defense, July 28, 2017.
Video – Exercise Black Swan 2016 – SOCEUR, SOF News, November 28, 2016. A video from the previous year’s exercise.