VILNIUS, Lithuania - Paratroopers from Able Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade took time to memorialize and honor fallen Lithuanian Soldiers during a run through Vingis Park Nov. 5.
"This was a good opportunity for our Soldiers to honor our Lithuanian counterparts," said Sgt. Adam Tranquilla. Tranquilla and his fellow squad members carried 50-pound ruck sacks on their backs during the run.
The six-kilometer run was organized by the Grand Duchess Birute Uhlan Battalion, "Iron Wolf" Mechanized Infantry Brigade, which does a lot of training with Able Company.
Able Company participated in the run, partially to honor the fallen Lithuanian Soldiers, but also to publicly demonstrate their solidarity with both the Lithuanian Land Forces and the Lithuanian people.
"Our Paratroopers really understand the importance of the community seeing U.S. forces in Lithuania as true partners with our Lithuanian Army counterparts," said Capt. Anthony Formica, commander, Able Company, 2nd Bn. 503rd Inf. Regt. "Coming out in a show of solidarity and participating in events like this really drives the message home for civilians who might not otherwise see American and Lithuanian troops together."
U.S. and Lithuanian forces will continue to train together later this month during Exercise Iron Sword, and in December, Able Company Paratroopers will participate in the Vilnius Christmas Market.
Able Company arrived in Lithuania in September to embark on a six-month rotation to train with their Lithuanian partners as part of Atlantic Resolve, 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. The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy, is the Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, and is 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.
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.