DEN HELDER, Netherlands (William S. Parker) – Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Forces, Norwegian Marine Jager Kommando, Czech Republic Special Operations Forces and U.S. Special Operations Forces assembled on Koninklijke Marine Base in Den Helder, Netherlands to work and participate as a Joint Task Unit for the special operations exercise Jackal Stone 2014 Sept. 8-21.
Exercise Jackal Stone is primarily a partnership building exercise. Its objective is to provide special operations forces the opportunity to train together and build mutual respect amongst each other while sharing doctrinal concepts, training concepts and various tactics, techniques and procedures.
“Everyone has something to bring to the table and you can always perfect on how you operate, and some may have a better way to perform a certain operation that we haven’t thought of yet, and what better way to do that than to bring three other special operations communities from partner nations to work together and to pick each others brains than this, said a U.S. Special Operations Commander.
Den Helder, was one of five locations chosen to host Jackal Stone. In Den Helder, the Joint Task Unit focused on and performed a variety of training evolutions to include visit board search and seizure, close quarter combat, sniper tactics, small boat operations, medical evacuation, and hostage rescue.
Maj. Gen. Gregory J. Lengyel, Commander Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR), said “Jackal Stone 14 provided the opportunity for personnel of all participating nations to engage in realistic and challenging training to build experience, cooperation and teamwork.”
Following every training evolution each service presented lessons learned with each service in preparation for future missions and to become a more capable task unit.
“Jackal Stone is an annual joint special operations exercise designed to enhance capabilities and interoperability amongst the participating special operations forces and we are doing just that,” said the Norwegian Marine Jager Kommando commander. “The more lessons learned and experience everybody shares the better we become and new operational capabilities can be learned from
About 1200 U.S. special operators and support personnel took part in this year’s Jackal Stone, which is among Special Operations Command Europe’s largest exercises. According to SOCEUR, another goal of Jackal Stone 14 is to help prepare participants operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment.
“All in all, Jackal Stone 14 was a good experience for me, as an operator you have to keep an open mind to different ways of accomplishing a mission, and here it’s a give and take learning experience. I took away some good stuff and also passed along some good stuff, and I think everyone participating gained something and the best take away was becoming a closer tight knit unit with our partnered nations,” said a U.S. Special Operations service member.