ADAZI MILITARY BASE, Latvia (April 6, 2016) – Strengthening bonds while demonstrating continued U.S. commitment to the collective security of North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies through interoperability training has been a main goal and purpose of Operation Atlantic Resolve since the mission began.
In order to achieve maximum efficiency while training alongside our allies, units must work to master the battlefield amid their own ranks.
In between allied interoperability training in support of OAR, Soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Troop “Wolfpack,” 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, demonstrated their hard work toward effective unit cohesion during platoon certifications, March 30, here.
“[Our Latvian allies] seeing us perform at our best [helps them] understand that we’re also here to share our knowledge and share our experiences,” said 1st. Sgt. Miguel Antia, the Wolfpack senior noncommissioned officer. “It makes us kind of side by side and very confident when it comes to military tactics.”
Wolfpack Soldiers began their own training by conducting small unit through platoon level tactics, building toward combined arms tactics.
“It’s just like anything else, in order for you to have an extraordinary end state you have to start small,” Antia continued. “So it starts from pre-combat checks and pre-combat inspections to individual techniques, team leader movements (and) squad certifications. This one is platoon maneuvers to ensure they have the confidence of their equipment, understand the battlefield and how to work together in this environment.”
The certification included the scout platoon moving and reacting to contact while the mortar platoon initiated fires.
Antia said the weather and visibility were challenges his Soldiers had to face and overcome together during their training. Additional challenges included lack of illumination as well as rain, both of which interfered with Soldiers’ infrared laser aiming markers, but they were able to work together through adverse conditions.
“Like everything else, when there is a problem there is always a solution,” Antia continued.
The scout and mortar platoon leaders moved past this obstacle by coordinating illumination by indirect fire.
This technique allowed scouts in the support by fire position to identify and engage enemy targets with light provided by the mortar platoon through the impacts of mortar rounds.
“I think that the training went super well,” Antia said with a smile. “The [Soldiers] had a lot of speed, surprise and violence of action. As soon as they execute the mission to the commanders intent – you can see from the start to [finish] just the way it moves forward and develops – is an amazing experience.”
Antia said the next step for the Wolfpack is troop and squadron level certifications. In the same way internal qualifications progress and lead the way to higher echelon training from squad level to squadron, the Wolfpack is looking ahead to even bigger interoperability opportunities during April.
Soldiers from several other NATO nations will come together in Latvia for Summer Shield, an annual training operation spanning two weeks featuring various training events.