GAIZIUNAI TRAINING AREA, Lithuania - Soldiers from Ghost Troop, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment and members of the Lithuanian Duke Vaidotas Mechanized Infantry Battalion trained each other on their respective weapons systems May 6, 2016, at Gaiziunai Training Area, Lithuania.
Throughout the training, the Lithuanian soldiers fired and familiarized themselves with the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and M240B. Ghost Troop Soldiers also received training on the Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR), which is used by the Lithuanians.
The training was the first time Ghost Troop Soldiers have worked alongside the Lithuanian Land Forces since assuming their role as U.S. Army Europe's regionally allocated force.
"As allies, this training is important because we need to become familiar with their standard operating procedures, and they need to be familiar with ours," said 1st Lt. Henry Washington, platoon leader for 2nd platoon, Ghost Troop. "This type of training builds trust, in knowing that we have their backs and they have ours."
Washington praised the Lithuanian Land Force Soldiers for their performance throughout the training. He said that his Soldiers were able to learn as much from the Lithuanians as the Lithuanian learned from them.
"Throughout the training they had a really good understanding of what we were doing," said Washington. "They were able to share their experiences with us, which helped us just as much as we helped them."
Washington said the training also supported USAREUR's goal of empowering junior leaders with most of the instruction coming from junior Soldiers ranging in ranks from private to specialist.
"The weapons systems out here today are used by our junior Soldiers, so the training allows them to share knowledge on their specific weapon," he said. "Having them teach the Lithuanians about the weapons also re-familiarizes them on functions and capabilities."
According to Washington, the Lithuanian soldiers were very appreciative of the crew-served weapons training they received. Private 1st Class Benediktes Lankas, a squad leader with the Lithuanian Duke Vaidotas Mechanized Infantry Battalion, said the training made a big impression on himself, and his soldiers.
"Being able to experience our partnership firsthand with the U.S. is very important to myself and other Lithuanian soldiers," Lankas said. "Working together, we can gain experience from each other, which is important in our partnership."