MARIJAMPOLE, Lithuania - The U.S., Lithuanian, German and Portuguese militaries came together today to celebrate unity, partnership and strong bonds during Unity Day here, as part of a larger ongoing effort in Europe called Operation Atlantic Resolve.
During Unity Day, a multinational exhibit of military weapons, vehicles and Soldiers, the local residents of Marijampole and other outlying areas were allowed access to vehicles such as the Abrams M1A1 Main Battle Tank and the M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle.
Team Eagle, Task Force 2-7 Infantry, an American unit currently stationed at the Great Lithuanian Hetman Jonusas Radvila Training Regiment, in Rukla, Lithuania, came to Unity Day to, according to Cpl. Tre Creech, "Spread a little freedom around." Despite the adverse weather, which included driving rain and pellet-sized hail, a demonstration was held to highlight the effectiveness of the combined forces the U.S., Lithuanian and Portuguese land forces.
"The communication between the multinational squads was wonderful," said Creech, a native of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Everyone knew what needed to be done, so everyone got a piece of the pie when it came time to take down the enemy."
A mock oppositional force had attacked a Lithuanian reconnaissance team and taken several prisoners and their weapons. Like clockwork, support forces arrived on scene, medically evacuated the injured and towed out any disabled vehicles.
Then, the Lithuanian forces overran the oppositional forces foothold and pushed them back to a secondary position, a steel cargo container at the west end of the main street in Marijampole.
At this point, the U.S., Lithuanian and Portuguese forces attacked en masse, assaulting the enemy position with heavy machine gun fire that echoed off the surrounding buildings.
Amid cheers and clapping from the spectators lining the street, a military police working dog rushed in to subdue a target while Soldiers from all three nations surged in on foot to secure the enemy position and free the prisoners.
At the end of demonstration, the crowd cheered and clapped almost as loud as the gunfire had been. As the troops shut down vehicles, the crowd gathered around them, smiling and shaking hands and the flashes from handheld cameras nearly blinding the Soldiers.