Ustka, Poland -- Soldiers from the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command and the 174th Ohio National Guard Air Defense Brigade along with the Polish 3rd Surface to Air Missile Brigade conducted a two day multinational air defense artillery gunnery from June 6-7.
The gunnery began with the Polish 3rd SAM Brigade introducing American Patriot Enhanced Fire Controllers to the Polish SA-3 Goa engagement control center. The Soldiers were invited inside the "van", as it is fondly called, where they were able to see where the Polish conduct their air battles. At the conclusion of the exhibition the Soldiers from 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment were able to discuss the similarities and differences of their engagement control center as well as covering nuances in air battle tactics.
"What we are trying to establish is a mutual understanding of the operations of these weapon systems." explained 1st Lt. Nicholas Ontiveros, the Delta Battery, 5-7th ADA Battalion's Executive Officer, "This understanding will better enable integration of both our systems."
The second day focused on a hands on familiarization of the major components of each nation's air defense systems. Both the Unites States and Poland held a small scale military exposition where they explained the basics of each component, demonstrated some of the typical tasks performed with each component, and then allowed any one present to try their hand at performing the demonstrated tasks.
"This whole event has been an incredible opportunity." stated 2nd Lt. Hope Landsem, the lead US coordinator for this event, "It's not every day that I can sit down and talk air defense tactics with a Polish major.
As the sun began to set on the final day of this event, it was apparent that both nations had improved their understanding of and appreciation for their partner's air defense systems.