SWIETOSZOW, Poland -- Mortar teams from 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment had the opportunity to utilize an indirect fire capability they aren't normally exposed to during recent training with their Polish counterparts.
Firing for the first time in Europe as they conducted their Mortar Training and Evaluation Program exercise on Feb. 9, the "Black Jack" squadron's mortar men incorporated an unmanned aerial system team from the Polish 23rd Field Artillery Regiment along with a fire support team (FST) from the Polish 10th Armored Cavalry Brigade.
"Integrating Polish unmanned aerial assets and a fire support team into our mortar training emerged after we began inquiring about possible training opportunities, and it enhanced the quality of training for our unit," said 1st Lt. Aaron Burnett, assistant fire support officer, 4th Sqdn, 10th Cav. Regt.
This training demonstrated a unique capability that Polish field artillery units possess that can augment the effectiveness of indirect fires for both U.S. and allied forces during combined operations. The Polish unmanned aircraft was used to spot and adjust indirect fires delivered by 4th Sqdn., 10th Cav. Regt.'s 120mm mortar sections.
"The process of taking the pictures, measuring the distance between the round and the target, and communicating the spotting to the squadron fire support element happened in a matter of seconds," said Capt. Daniel Allison, fire support officer (FSO) for 4th Sqdn., 10th Cav. Regt. "Having such timely and accurate observations can be critical in combat situations."
Identifying foreign capabilities such as these is vital to ensuring that U.S. forces can operate seamlessly with other members of NATO, Allison said.
The Black Jacks deployed to Europe with the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, from Fort Carson, Colorado, as part of Atlantic Resolve. Since arriving in early January, the 3/4 ABCT has prepared to operate side by side with allies to deter possible aggression by virtue of a persistent presence in eight central and eastern European countries.
The 4th Sqdn., 10th Cav. Regt. has been at the center of these efforts with the Polish 11th Armored Cavalry Division.
"The Poles are very eager to train and their years of experience come to fruition when discussing adjustment techniques and American fires procedures," said Sgt. Corey Daws, a FST chief for Troop B. "The language of fire support is almost universal, and the Polish are highly competent professionals. It's a pleasure to work with them."