DRAWSKO POMORSKIE, Poland -- Consolidated in northwestern Poland, the BISON 2017 training exercise is providing Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment (Pacesetters), invaluable interoperability training with the Dutch 43rd Mechanised Brigade.
On Jan. 31, Pacesetter Soldiers were taught Dutch methods of fire direction, forward observation, and communication platforms.
For leaders of the Dutch 45th Mechanised Infantry Battalion, training with the U.S. Army is an enduring partnership that has spanned Sgt. Maj. René Pieloor's 32-year military career.
"Multinational cooperation through NATO helps us fight in the age of digital fire direction platforms," he said, referencing the Dutch's new ASCA digital fires system.
The exchange highlighted similarities in many capabilities but different forward observer and ammunition management. Dutch and American staff sections discussed operations planning, airspace deconfliction, unmanned aerial vehicle operations and an upcoming joint artillery live-fire exercise on Feb. 15.
"We operate similarly, track a similar scope of operations but have different manning in our planning cells," said SFC Kyle Nygaard, the 3rd Bn., 29th FA Regt. Master Gunner.
To expedite clearance of fires and de-conflict airspace, the Dutch battalion pairs a joint terminal attack controller with a fire direction officer, an asset typically controlled at the brigade level in the U.S. Army.
In these increasingly complex and technical operations, 3rd Bn., 29th FA Regt. will increase its ability to support maneuver operations in a multinational environment against a near-peer adversary, said Nygaard.