RUKLA, Lithuania - Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance on the enemy's position and make it back to report what you saw. Sounds easy, right? To successfully do this, you will need to insert yourself into the enemy's space, stay hidden, and evade detection while you collect data using observation, photography, and communications devices.
Fifty-four American and foreign soldiers are in Lithuania learning how to do just that by attending the first ever Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leader's Course held outside the United States. The course is hosted by 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, and features Paratroopers from their unit, as well as soldiers from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia.
Normally, the 25-day course is held only at Fort Benning, Ga. However, guidance from Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commanding general, U.S. Army Europe changed that.
"LTG Hodges gave guidance that he wanted to build our recon capability and capacity across the Baltics by training our Allies in our reconnaissance techniques," said 1st Lt. Alexander Coslow, a platoon leader in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Bn., 503rd Inf. Regt. Coslow is in charge of the course.
The purpose of the RSLC is to train Soldiers and leaders assigned to reconnaissance teams and squads to plan and execute reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition missions in support of a combat information collection point. To graduate, candidates must pass the Army Physical Fitness Test at 70 percent for their age group, pass a written and practical land navigation exam and communications exam, as well as get a "go" on half of the graded patrols during the FTX.
The course will finish on Nov 19.
Paratroopers from 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade are in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland training with their NATO partners as part of Atlantic Resolve. Atlantic Resolve is a U.S. led effort being conducted in Eastern Europe to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region.
U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51 country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.