CAMP ADAZI, Latvia - Using the speed, accuracy and transitional movements developed during Close Quarters Marksmanship, the Paratroopers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, conducted urban operations training with Lithuanian soldiers assigned to the Iron Wolf Mechanized Infantry Brigade in Pabrade, Lithuania, Feb. 1, 2017.
Simulating the complexities of navigating a modern city structure, the Paratroopers and Lithuanian soldiers mastered clearing a shoot house facility moving together as one, lethal force.
"We started out with one room and one single team, working through blank and live iterations," said Sgt. John Yarbrough, squad leader assigned to Battle Company, 2nd Bn., 503rd Inf. Regt. "And then we advanced to multi-room clearing with one team."
With loaded weapons at the ready, each team stacked on the perimeter wall before assaulting through the entry point.
"This training requires a lot of flexibility and out-of-the-box thinking," said Sgt. 1st Class Tony Paparella, platoon sergeant assigned to Battle Company, 2nd Bn., 503rd Inf. Regt. "It requires everyone on the team to step up, make decisions, and really work together on a level that you don't always see with other battle drills."
The team leaders directed movement while the teams methodically navigated the winding halls and cleared the facility room by room. As enemy targets appeared, the team members immediately engaged them.
The Paratroopers must remain alert and ready to react, Paparella explained. Timing is everything in close quarters where the Paratroopers have only brief seconds to incapacitate the enemy.
"Each person has a specific job and sector they have to cover," Yarbrough said. "Immediately getting into the room, it's important to be fast but you don't want to be so fast that you are falling over each other. If each individual takes care of their part, the room gets cleared faster and eliminates the threat without taking any casualties."
Partnered training with the Lithuanian soldiers provided insight for both forces as they integrated teams and shared tactics, techniques, and procedures.
"This is their country and together we may be required to defend it one day, so it's great for us to work together and mold into one, fighting unit," Yarbrough said.
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. 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.