BEMOWO PISKIE, Poland- With a potential enemy threat in the area, British reconnaissance forces maintained continuous surveillance in the forward screen line of the battle group's area of operation while the rest of the troops maneuvered to their defensive phase lines during a training exercise at Bemowo Piskie Training Area, June 14, 2017.
Throughout day two of the multinational Field Training Exercise, as part of Saber Strike 17, the battle group focused on transitioning from a hybrid warfare scenario, which is a counterinsurgency battlefield, to a static defensive operation to prevent a mass enemy attack.
Transitioning to a defensive posture enables the Enhance Forward Presence Battle Group to sustain combat readiness by training as a combined arms force while conducting an integrated, synchronized, deterrence-oriented FTX that is designed to build cohesion, improve interoperability and strengthen relationships and roles within the NATO structure.
"As a multinational division we're learning how to fully integrate into the 15th Mechanized Brigade, which is our Polish higher headquarters," said Maj. Mike Krayer, Battle Group Poland Executive Officer, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment. "So over the last 80-90 days we've went from knowing each other as Allies to being a unified team and we've accomplished that through a variety of training leading up to this exercise."
Learning how to effectively and efficiently use the capabilities that the Romanian anti-aircraft systems, the United Kingdom reconnaissance forces and the United States Infantry and Artillery Soldiers bring to the ground commanders expands the strong and strategic relationship of the eFP.
Taking into account the lessons learned throughout the first two days of the FTX, 2nd Lt. Anastasia Morin, Military Intelligence Officer, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, expressed her thoughts on the progression of the battle group.
"Each nation brings different assets to the battlefield," she said. "When we combined all the countries, their standard operating procedures and how they operate during field exercises the more comfortable we'll get with each other. If we can operate more smoothly and quickly so that it becomes nature, the more effective we will be as a battle group."
Training in a new operating environment presents an opportunity to build on those bilateral tactic techniques and procedures, which will strengthen the capabilities of the battle group and its ready and postured forces.
"It's very important to train together because that's the only way we can learn from each other," said Krayer. "In the operation environment today we don't ever anticipate facing an adversary alone. So understanding our role alongside our NATO Allies and partners, understanding how we benefit each other and how we make each other better, I think is very important for mission success."
As the sun started to descend and cast an orange tint over the training area, the battlefield had a relaxed and tranquil ambience every Soldier sensed in their defensive battle positions. As leaders and Soldiers tried to quickly eat while things were quiet, suddenly a storm of gunfire erupted in the distance.
A platoon of Polish BMPs attacked from the south attempting to displace the forward defensive positions established by the battle group. A troop of U.S. Strykers returned fire, then repositioned north to prepare for the next phase of the FTX, a counter attack.