By Pfc. James Dutkavich, 24th Press Camp HQNovember 8, 2016
HELLENURME, Estonia -- The paratroopers are armed and ready to secure the site as they proceed towards the objective. With every turn, they must be prepared to take on an enemy threat. Fortunately for them, this is just an exercise, but the scenario and tactics are very real.
Paratroopers assigned to 3rd Platoon, Battle Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade, conducted joint urban operation training with two Estonian military companies and the Estonian border police Thursday in Hellenurme, Estonia.
"Training like this helps strengthen the partnership between the United States and Estonia," explained U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Scott Stamback, a paratrooper assigned to 3rd Platoon, Battle Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade.
"[Working with other NATO nations] is a great experience. I'm learning a lot of new techniques, learning the way they do things, and sharing the way we do things. So, I think it is fun."
Operating in urban environments presents service members with challenges not found in other areas. Soldiers must be prepared for a wide variety of threats, which can emerge in the form of close quarter combat or long-range engagement.
During the exercise, U.S. Army paratroopers and Estonian military cleared and seized buildings while the opposing force, consisting of Estonian military and the Estonian Border Police, fought to maintain control until their reinforcements arrived.
"We are building a stronger partnership," said U.S. Army Spc. Nathan White, a paratrooper assigned to 3rd Platoon, Battle Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade. "Each nation does things a different way. We are learning from them, and they are learning from us."
The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy, is the Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, capable of projecting forces to conduct a full range of military operations across the United States European, Central and Africa Command areas of responsibility within 18 hours.
Operation Atlantic Resolve is a U.S.-led effort in Eastern Europe that demonstrates 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.