DRAWSKO POMORSKIE, Poland--Soldiers assigned to 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, along with Soldiers from the Netherlands, Poland and Germany conducted a multinational combined arms obstacle breach, Feb. 15, at the Gora Hetmanska Range in Drawsko Pomorskie.
The training consisted of a combined arms breach of defensive obstacles. Soldiers from 3-29 FA provided artillery support and launched an AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven, which is a small hand-launched remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle that provides aerial intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance that helps locate enemy forces.
According to Lt. Col. Douglas Chimenti, battalion commander of 3-29 FA, the way to conduct breaching operations is to have near-side security at the objective. Offensive forces set up a support by fire position to pin down the enemy with direct and indirect fire, which includes artillery fire. Once this is complete, they then move breaching vehicles forward, destroy the obstacles that are in the line of movement, shift indirect fires, move through the obstacle, establish far-side security, shift fire and then move the rest of the forces through to ultimately destroy the enemy.
"Being able to shoot with these multinational countries is very critical," he said. "Soldiers are Soldiers, no matter what Army you're in, and we can fight and win as a combined team."
The Dutch have been in the area for the past month leading the training as part of BISON 2017, a multinational training exercise focused on interoperability between maneuver units among NATO allies.
"I've always had a goal to work alongside the American Army and I finally had the opportunity," said Lt. Col. Rink Sijbrandi, plans chief for the fire support command of the Royal Netherlands Army. "The partnership worked really well and I couldn't be happier with the outcome of this joint exercise."
The Soldiers from 3-29 FA arrived in Poland in January and are actively training with multinational counterparts to ensure they are fit to fight before relocating to Romania, Germany and other regions of Poland.
"The message of this exercise was to be able to show our allies working together and fighting together to deter any aggression in Europe," Chimenti said. "This proves that the NATO alliance does work and we are fighting together shoulder-to-shoulder to deter aggression here in Europe."
The Iron Brigade is deployed across the Baltics, Poland, Romania and Hungary in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. It is the first armored brigade in a heel-to-rotation to the region. This rotation will enhance deterrence capabilities in the region, improve the U.S. ability to respond to potential crises and defend allies and partners in the European community. U.S. forces will focus on strengthening capabilities and sustaining readiness through bilateral and multinational training and exercises.
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.