112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
March 6, 2015
Joint live-fire exercise kicks off in Poland
Story by 1st Sgt. James Wagner
DRAWSKO POMORSKIE, Poland: Shots rang out on a blustery, cold winter morning as Polish infantrymen kicked off the first of a three-day joint live-fire exercise with U.S. dragoons at the Drawsko Pomorskie Land Forces Training Center here March 4.
The exercise is the latest iteration in U.S. and Polish land force exercises since the middle of last year, when Operation Atlantic Resolve began. OAR is a NATO exercise led by the U.S. to test the alliance’s interoperability with Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian military forces…
The live-fire exercise is the culminating event of collaborative training held between the Dragoons of K Troop, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, and Poland’s 3rd Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Mechanized Brigade. Since early February, the two units have been conducting multinational platoon level training as they work to fully integrate their operations in a combat environment.
The goal, according to 1st Lt. Geoffrey Hamilton, a 2 CR operations officer, is to increase the interoperability of Polish and U.S. land forces through shared training.
“The whole purpose is to make sure we can work with the Polish army side-by-side,” he said…
For the next three days, three platoons of 2 CR troopers and six platoons of Polish infantrymen will cycle through an exercise scenario – using live rounds and munitions – designed to test their skills in working together as allies facing an enemy land force.
In the scenario, a Polish forward operating base is attacked by an enemy force. The Poles defend their position while a quick reaction force and a U.S. infantry platoon is called up to make contact with the enemy while also mounting a hasty defense when enemy reinforcements arrive. The U.S. also employs its mortars during the exercise.
The allied units have communicated daily and undergone regular side-by-side exercises since February, honing their ability to fight effectively as one joint force. Overcoming the daily challenges of different languages, different doctrine and different tactics between the dragoons and Polish infantrymen is the goal, and after weeks of joint training, there is very little difference between the two allied units when training and fighting together.
Also in attendance at the launch of today’s exercise were a dozen journalists from various television stations and media outlets in Poland. According to a U.S. embassy official, spreading the word of the joint exercise provides mainstream Poland with a demonstration of the critical allied effort being conducted in their country to ensure safety and security in Eastern Europe.
The live-fire exercise is expected to conclude March 6.