NIINISALO, Finland -- Fox Troop, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, began the force-on-force training portion for exercise Arrow '16 with the Finnish Army, May 4, 2016 at the Niinisalo Training Area.
The Soldiers will spend approximately three weeks participating in Arrow '16, a bilateral exercise in which Fox Troop aims to achieve Dragoon platoon certifications and simultaneously share valuable lessons learned with their Finnish counterparts. This is the first time the U.S. Army has participated in the annual event.
Capt. Kirby Clark, commander for Fox Troop, remarked that the training with the Finnish Army has been going well so far and his Soldiers are looking forward to the remaining couple of weeks.
"Training with the Finnish Army is a great experience over all; it's a very professional military," Clark said. "A lot of different experiences compared to the other (exercises) we've had the last 12 months and the Soldiers are learning a lot from it."
The troop jumped right into training once they arrived in country, eager to progress and build upon past achievements.
"We are always looking to get to the next training objective, so we're really happy to come here and be able to get right into troop level exercises, that is were we are at anyway," said Clark.
Team leader, Spc. Jarrison Perez, and his two Soldiers look forward to more challenges and new experiences in the days ahead. They already had a chance to participate in a mine wire obstacle breach with their Finnish partners who brought their Bangalore and set up the barrier.
"They didn't really use explosives, it was just pretend, but they brought out their equipment," Perez explained. "They breached the obstacle and we crossed it, then we set up security on the other side, we worked together on that."
Clark will lead his Soldiers through a couple more days of force-on-force training and then move on to live-fire exercises.
"Usually we only go through battle drill one which is a squad or platoon attack, like room clearing. It's really rare we do breaching a mine wire obstacle," Perez added.
Another rare moment was the troops chance to take part in a river crossing along side the Finnish Soldiers. Although 2CR units have been conducting river crossing in other countries, this was the first time Fox Troop participated in one.
"It's worked out really well, we're always happy to train and it's especially more so when it's with other nations," said Clark.