US Army, June 02, 2018 - KILLEEN, TX by Staff Sgt Tegan Kucera - One couple is flying high over Europe during Saber Strike.
After being separated for the first nine months of their marriage, the sergeants Smith are now enjoying time together; even during the multinational exercise Saber Strike.
“It’s just nice to have him here, to see him, work with him and know he understands when I have to work late or vice versa,” said Sgt. Amanda Smith, a religious affairs non-commissioned officer with the 3-227th Assault Helicopter Battalion based out of Fort Hood, Texas.
“He is very patient and understanding. He listens to me and doesn’t judge. That is very important to me and I really appreciate it.”
Amanda met her husband James in their last unit at Fort Lewis, Washington, when she was visiting the soldiers with her Chaplin and helping him to provide religious support.
For the first year they were only friends but realized there was a spark there they wanted to explore.
“We can talk about everything, and we agree on all the core elements, and at one point we just realized we work well together,” said Sgt. James Smith, a technical inspector for the Apache helicopter with the 1-227th attack reconnaissance battalion.
Both battalions are in the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, which means the Smiths are together.
They were not able to be together for the first nine months of their marriage because he was in the beginning process of a permanent change of station for his promotion.
He went on to Texas, and Amanda stayed behind in Washington, and even when she was transferred to Texas, he was on rotation for Germany and she was on the next rotation.
They credit the hard work of both their previous and present commands with the reason they are now together on the same rotation.
“They got us in the same brigade, which was really outstanding, they went out of their way to help us like that so we could be on the same rotation,” said James.
“I really appreciate what my command team did for me.”
The brigade is in Germany and is ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.
Amanda said they are the only air brigade capable of doing so in Europe, so their presence is important.
“Basically we’re providing air support for everybody out here at this event and for the pilots and ground troops to get some familiarization with each other,” said Amanda.
James and Amanda may only be in Poland for a short time, but they are working with each other by assisting their battalions during Saber Strike, an exercise that is, like them, coming together to enhance interoperability and demonstrate military capabilities. .