AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon Air Force Base recently taking part in the Trojan Footprint Training in Europe.

“Trojan Footprint was the largest special operations exercise in history, this year,” said Lt. Col. Brandon Dues, 310th Special Operations Officer, and Mission Commander for the 27th Special Operations Wing for the Trojan Footprint exercise. “Encompassing 30 nations with NATO, alongside 3,300 troops, moving across 15 different countries over an 11 day span.”

Training in places like Croatia and the Baltic Region, the exercise was a trailblazer, that served two purposes.

“To generate readiness to ensure we’re ready to protect and defend America’s interests abroad. Secondly, is to ensure that we integrate properly with our NATO allies who want to ensure we do this together,” Lt. Col. Dues said.

He said special ops missions are high stakes, high demand, and they don’t get a second chance to do it right. So, training and problem resolution are major keys to success.

“It’d be like you starting up a new championship baseball team, where you put the people together, you’ve got the infrastructure ready to go, but you haven’t practiced yet. “So that first practice probably isn’t as smooth trying to turn double plays. But, after going through a few practices, you get pretty good,” he emphasized.

Lt. Col. Dues is in his 15th year of service, and said with today’s ever-evolving threats across the globe, challenging adversaries while minimizing risk to troops is priority number one.

“To ensure we have placement and access, that is working together with others, because no one wants to go at the complex global security challenges of today alone. We want to do it with friends and allies,” he said.

According to Lt. Col. Dues, another significant part of it, “relationships and progress are made at the speed of trust, so if we can build that trust now, it just means we’re going to have greater effects in the future.”