Troopers from 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division engaged in a demonstration of readiness, Presidenski Range, Trzebian, Poland, Sep. 25, 2017.
The unit is in Poland to support Atlantic Resolve, a U.S. endeavor to fulfill NATO commitments by rotating U.S. -based units throughout the European theater and training with NATO Allies and partners.
The combined arms live-fire is a routine demonstration, said Lt. Col. Dave Maxwell, squadron commander, 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team. It is a validation of movement and to ensure equipment is in full working order.
Equipment utilized in the live fire was a team comprised of Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Abrams tanks and Apache helicopters. The air support element was provided by 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade.
Abrams tanks provided rear screening with Bradley Fighting Vehicles progressing in bounding movements to engage targets at phase lines.
The demonstration also displays the ability to control the troop-size element as it moves onto the field and executes its live fire, Maxwell said. It also displays the ability to transport equipment, personnel, and supplies to execute the mission.
“We’re excited, as an organization, to be able to come over here with all of our military equipment and train and operate as a fully capable armored cavalry squadron,” Maxwell said.
The unit prepared for the rotation with months of planning and training. Weeks were dedicated to living in field environments and utilizing the Advanced Gunnery Training System. The tank simulator enhances the foundation of gunnery skills like target recognition and fire control.
Although simulation is an excellent method for education and training, it is a controlled environment.
“Time and experience prepares the Soldier; the longer they’re in country, the more experienced they become,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Garcia, 2nd platoon, Tomahawk Troop, 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team. “A lot of things we do at home station is a baseline to get you to where you need to be but I don’t truly think you can ever be 100 percent ready until you’re actually there.”
As it is only the first of many ranges for the unit, the opportunity for improvement and experience is plentiful.
Many of the Troopers are ready and eager to get out onto the field with the Polish Army, Garcia said.
Training with Allies and partners is a way to see each other’s equipment capabilities and how they might be combined on the battlefield, he said. It would be interesting to see what type of movement maneuvers the squadron and the Polish Army can do together.
Working closely with Allies is a training priority for the squadron, Maxwell said.
“We want to increase our ability to operate with our NATO Allies,” Maxwell explained. “Increasing our interoperability and our ability to shoot, move and communicate is what, as a squadron, we’re looking to achieve.”