BALTADVARIS, Lithuania - Prepositioned in Poland, Soldiers from 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division transitioned to Lithuania and conducted a dismounted rapid response exercise Dec. 13-15.
The "Long Knife" squadron's movement within Europe demonstrated the "Dagger Brigade's" capability to conduct a dismounted reconnaissance mission and quickly mobilize forces in response to simulated crises.
"Conducting dismounted reconnaissance through the urban built-up areas gave the troop the opportunity to move through a simulated terrain similar to what they would fight on in this theatre of operations," said Lt. Col. James D. Maxwell, squadron commander of 5-4 Cav. "It exposed them to the weather elements that they would fight in and allowed us to observe our German allies."
One of the squadron's platoons tested their proficiency as a dismounted element against German soldiers assigned to the 1st Mechanized Infantry Company, Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Lithuania.
"It was a different experience because my platoon primarily operates mounted with our Bradleys," said 1st Lt. James Dicesare, a platoon leader with 5-4 Cav. "We do have dismounted elements, but to take the entire platoon off the vehicles and still be able to accomplish our reconnaissance objective was a big challenge."
Dicesare's team leaders had to be more hands-on with the Soldiers as they performed their tactics against German soldiers, who simulated the role of an enemy.
"We definitely accomplished something, although it was more challenging than we thought coming in, but we still did it and everyone learned," said Dicesare. "We learned as a group and as individuals about how we can do these things better."
Sgt. 1st. Class Sergio Partida, a first sergeant with 5-4 CAV, observed new techniques, tactics and procedures his unit can incorporate into future training.
"Training was great," said Partida "Doing something different from what we usually do, especially when we did the close quarter's marksmanship training in the shoot house, gave us an understanding of other training we can do."
The complexities and adversities the troop leaders faced added elements of friction, but still resulted in the troop achieving mission objectives.
"We were able to move very rapidly through multiple countries to conduct training in preparation for anything that might come up," said Partida. "I think it was a success that we could move from Poland to Lithuania, train and return."