By Staff Sgt. Michael BehlinFebruary 1, 2016
RUKLA, Lithuania (Feb. 1, 2016) -- Soldiers, from the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment and Lithuanian Duke Vaidotas Mechanized Infantry Battalion, braved cold, wet conditions to complete team leader training at Rukla, Lithuania, Jan. 25-28.
The training allowed the units an opportunity to evaluate their team leaders' ability to make on-the-spot decisions and to organize and position their team members in combat.
Throughout the week, training consisted of classroom instruction and hands-on demonstrations, and concluded with a blank-fire exercise, which allowed Soldiers to react as they would in a combat environment.
U.S. Soldiers, assigned to L Troop, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, or CR, led the training. They taught and demonstrated their tactics, techniques and procedures to the Lithuanian soldiers.
"Throughout the training, the [Lithuanian] Soldiers did an excellent job grasping what we were teaching," said Sgt. 1st Class Augustin Evangelista, a platoon sergeant with L Troop, 3/2 CR. "Even though we taught the Lithuanian soldiers our tactics, they really wanted to refine and perfect their own."
Evangelista said the Lithuanian soldiers were enthusiastic about learning and were quick to point out differences in their tactics, techniques and procedures. He mentioned that even though the Soldiers have different ways of operating, it was important that they learned how each other fought.
"The training was important because we're here to build strategic level partnerships while showing that we can fight together," Evangelista said.
During the final event, the blank-fire exercise, team leaders were tested on their ability to execute key actions quickly. In more than one instance, the team leaders were required to perform the duties of a squad leader while reacting to enemy contact. This allowed the team leaders the opportunity to display their capabilities during a combat situation.
According to the participating Soldiers, this aspect of the team leader training was very important because it provided a better understanding of how each country fought. Regardless of the similarities and differences, U.S. and Lithuanian Soldiers were excited to train alongside one another.
"This training is important because we can share experiences and tactics with each other," said Pfc. Jaunius Stuknys, a squad commander with the Duke Vaidotas Mechanized Infantry Battalion. "This is a great way to learn from one another."
Overall, the L Troop Soldiers considered the team leader training a success. They were particularly impressed by the retention of information and attention to detail by the Lithuanian Land Force soldiers.
"I feel the training went very well," Evangelista said. "At points throughout the classroom portion of training, I was unsure of how they were grasping the material because of the language barrier. But when it came time for practical exercises, I was blown away by what they were able to understand and retain."
The 2nd Cavalry Regiment replaced the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division as U.S. Army Europe's regionally-allocated force.
Operation Atlantic Resolve provides U.S. and allied forces the opportunity to work and train together while improving their ability to operate as a combined force; that capability is essential to the security and strength of Europe.