DRAWSKO POMORSKIE, Poland - For any team to function properly, it's important to understand one another. The same can be said for Operation Atlantic Resolve.
However, for an army, it's not enough to understand another county's soldiers, they must also understand one another's weapons.
Over the course of their mission in Poland, Soldiers with P Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment and paratroopers with Company D, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade have continually trained with Polish soldiers to better familiarize themselves with one another's weapons systems.
"It's been a very unique experience for myself as well as all my Soldiers because you get to see the equipment the other armies use," said 1st Lt. Thomas Sheehan, a platoon leader with D Company. "You get to compare [their weapons] to ours and see what our strengths are and what are weaknesses might be in regards to not only the weapons, but stuff such as communication equipment."
In addition to understanding the strengths and weaknesses of equipment, trading weapons helps Soldiers develop their skills.
"It makes me a better Soldier because the more I know about the weapons, the more I know about my job," said Pfc. Cody Wojcik, an infantryman with D Company. "It's comfortable knowing I can pick up almost any weapon, ours or any of our NATO allies', and be able to use them properly."
Wojcik, who trained on a Polish sniper rifle, also trained many Polish soldiers on American weapons systems as well.
"It's been fun learning their weapons and teaching them about our weapons and getting to work together," he said.
Ultimately, consistent training helps to build confidence not only within the Soldiers,but in the trust between allies as well.
"The most important thing is learning the capabilities within the weapons systems," said Sgt. 1st Class Luis Coriano, a platoon sergeant with P Troop. "It increases confidence between the soldiers, knowing they can use each others weapons systems and being familiar with the weapon."
For leaders, understand the capabilities of an allies weapons helps to better understand how they could be utilized.
"It's always important to know the capabilities of the different weapons systems so that if we were ever in a joint operation with a unified command, we would be able to effectively use all the weapons systems underneath us because we're knowledgeable about them," said Sheehan.
The U.S. Soldiers are in Poland as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, an ongoing multinational partnership focused on combined training and security cooperation between NATO allies. Led by the mission command element of the 4th Infantry Division and in conjunction with European partner nations, Atlantic Resolve is intended to improve combined operational capability in a range of missions and ensure the continued peace and stability of Europe.