Dragoon Troopers and Finnish Soldiers reach training objective together
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Troopers assigned to Fox Troop, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment alongside Finnish Soldiers, participate in a notional attack training operation during Arrow '16 in Niinisalo, Finland, May 6, 2016. Arrow '16 is a bilateral exercise that allows the ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Dragoon Troopers and Finnish Soldiers reach training objective together
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Troopers assigned to Fox Troop, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment alongside Finnish Soldiers, participate in a notional attack training operation during Arrow '16 in Niinisalo, Finland, May 6, 2016. Arrow '16 is a bilateral exercise that allows the ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Dragoon Troopers and Finnish Soldiers reach training objective together
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Troopers assigned to Fox Troop, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment alongside Finnish Soldiers, participate in a notional attack training operation during Arrow '16 in Niinisalo, Finland, May 6, 2016. Arrow '16 is a bilateral exercise that allows the ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

NIINISALO, Finland - The early morning sun was just over the horizon May 6, 2016, as both U.S. and Finnish Soldiers prepared their equipment for the culminating attack on a notional enemy in the Niinisalo Training Area.

Troopers assigned to Fox Troop, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, arrived in Finland on May 2nd to participate in Arrow '16, a bilateral exercise that allows the troop to continue Dragoon standard training while sharing and learning techniques and procedures from their Finnish counterparts.

As the two units gathered at the rally point, Capt. Kirby Clark, Fox Troop Commander, expressed his confidence with his Soldier's ability to mesh with their Finnish counterparts and accomplish their mission together.

"Training with the Finnish military has been an eye opening experience. There are many techniques that we have gleaned while working with them (the past few days) that we will implement," Clark said. "The systems are very different but they are compatible, so while we do things differently, we are able to work together and be pretty efficient at it."

With communication checks completed, equipment packed and routes finalized, the Troopers mounted their Stryker Combat Vehicles as Finnish Soldiers loaded up their Leopard 2A4 tanks in preparation to roll out towards their objective.

A kilometer or so down the road they encountered an obstruction that hindered their forward progress. A security formation was established while Finnish engineers were called in to assess the situation and devise a plan.

"Once we set up and linked in with the engineers, I talked to the company commander and platoon leader to set up a signaling plan for when we were ready for the engineers to show up," explained 2nd Lt. Thomas Legamenn, 2nd Platoon Leader.

The engineers brought in a Bangalore torpedo, a long tube filled with explosives, and blew up the obstacle which provided the dismounted Soldiers a narrow path into enemy territory so they could set up forward security for safe passage of the remaining forces.

The engineers also brought in a Leopard 2L Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge, emplaced a stable platform for the vehicles to drive over and continuing with dismounted operations once everyone cleared the breach and bridge.

"We were the follow on reserve force, which quickly changed because of the operational environment," Lagemann said.

As 1st and 3rd platoon continued moving forward, 2nd platoon cleared the eastern flank, which was protected by several enemy forces.

Legamenn ordered his Soldiers out of their Strykers to set up a hasty ambush. The short scrimmage with the platoon size enemy forces was a success but the team got a little turned around.

"It got a little confusing after awhile because there were a lot of different people involved," Lagemann said. "But we ended up linking up with Finnish forward observers and a Finnish mechanized company and continued on and cleared our objective."

By the time the sun reached its apex, all Soldiers were back at the rally point with mission accomplished.

"Working with the Finnish has been fantastic. We've learned a lot of different things from them," concluded Lagemann. "The biggest thing is that they give a very clear 'This is what I want you to do' (brief), but they do not give you 'how you should do it'. So, it is very fast paced, think on the go and essentially adapt and over come."