Finnish and U.S. Soldiers train on the M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles at Niinisalo, Finland, for the first time.
According to a press release from 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division is the first to conduct an M2A3 Bradley gunnery in Finland. Being able to be the first unit to set up a site and show allied partner nations how the U.S. establishes and conducts gunnery has been a new experience for the U.S. Soldiers and Finnish Soldiers.
“The fact that we’re the first to shoot gunnery here is amazing,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Gage Payne, a cavalry scout assigned to 4-10 Cav. “I didn’t think of the significance of it until we started actually doing everything here and setting everything up.”
Being able to set up a gunnery in Finland has trained and developed the relationship with U.S. allies but it has also served as a learning experience for non commissioned officers, some of whom have never set up a site like this before.
“I got to come out here to see an open field that had nothing in it,” said Payne. “ A couple NCOs and myself came out here and marked all the battle positions, dug them, set up all the sandbags, dropped and lifted targets. I was able to understand how everything works. The fact that we got to come out here and see it from the ground up was awesome.”
The Finnish were able to see how the U.S. Soldiers set up a site and conduct gunnery. Working together and increasing interoperability between forces, strengthens the relationship between allies and partner nations. Being able to develop and understand how the Army trains has increased the ability to work with each other.
“It feels great to see the Finnish soldiers interested in our training,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Juan Alejandro, a cavalry scout assigned to 4-10 Cav. “Being able to train with other nations and help them understand how we operate and us operate with them fluently it just helps us become stronger as a whole.”
The training has also developed the relationship NCOs have with their soldiers. Training builds cohesion within the organization when they spend time getting to know their Soldiers. Training with other nations develops Soldiers to be interoperable and capable for any mission.
“Doing a gunnery out here makes me feel great, I’ve developed and gotten better with my soldiers,” said Alejandro. “Becoming a family with the troop and creating a bond. As an NCO, I have young soldiers under me. Just helping them find their way and making them better people. That has been the best experience I’ve had out here.”
The 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, is among other units, assigned to V Corps, America’s forward deployed corps in Europe that works alongside NATO allies and regional security partners.