By Staff Sgt. Philip SteinerJune 24, 2016
NOWA DEBA, Poland -- Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry regiment partnered with Polish Armed forces during Exercise Anakonda 16 in Eastern Poland with a range of capabilities, displaying 50 Caliber Machine Guns, MK 19 Grenade Launchers, M77 Howitzer Artillery, and 60mm, 81mm and 120mm Infantry Mortars.
1-91 Cav. is an integral part of the 25,000 strong multinational force standing "shoulder" to "shoulder" to test the ability and readiness of the Polish Armed forces with allies and partners. The U.S. Paratroopers are working together with allied nations to share tactics, training and procedures to create a unified, ready and equipped force throughout Europe.
"We have our platoons partnered up with the Polish 9th Reconnaisance Regiment running this range, concurrent training with them and a mortar range earlier," said Capt. Evan Adams, A Troop Commander, 1-91. "They are very interested to see how we do our qualification and what our master gunner does. We have looked through their [techniques, tactics, and procedures] and weapons as well, to be able to do cross training and to strengthen our alliance."
This exercise has allowed many different teams throughout the unit the opportunity to tighten their teams to work with utmost efficiency, giving them time to strengthen team operations.
"It allows us to strengthen the process; from identifying the target, to giving the commands and firing on it," said Staff Sgt. Jason Mitchell, A Troop, 1-91 Cav. "Everyone in the vehicle gets on the same sheet of music to operate as one and to know what to do and what to expect. The goal is to make it all come natural and to help the fluidity as a whole."
This is a lesson they share with their counterparts during the exchange of information and tactics for all nations.
"We have practiced the mounted portion with them as well as tactics and capabilities systems, with weapons familiarizations for our weapons as well as theirs," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Meinke, A Troop 1-91 Cav. "The benefits are getting multiple nations to work together to strengthen our partnership, it gives each Non-Commissioned Officer and Officer a chance to see how well we work together and were we can improve both for us and for them."
Exercises such as this one also provide the opportunity for new leaders to emerge and to test their abilities during this rigorous training.
"We came straight out to the range and have been firing a lot of rounds downrange," said Spc. Kanvanaugh, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop 1-91 Cav. "I have had the opportunity to do [FTC] and to learn how to place the rounds and where they are going, it has been a good leadership experience for me to become an NCO."
Approximately 12,000 U.S. forces, of which approximately 9,000 are from U.S.-based units, participated in this exercise to include the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Each unit bringing a variety of armor, aviation, engineer, infantry capabilities to the exercise.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade based in Vicenza, Italy, is the Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, and is capable of projecting forces to conduct the full of range of military operations across the United State European, Central and Africa Commands areas of responsibility.