By Pvt. Joanna Gaona GomezJune 27, 2019
U.S. Army Soldiers from C Battery (Catdogs), 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, participated in this years multinational air defense exercise, Tobruq Legacy 2019.
Tobruq Legacy 2019 was hosted and directed by Poland On June 17th with 3,000 personnel from the Following 13 nations, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, United Kingdom, And the United States.
The exercise consists of three parts that assists in building a joint understanding of how to interact with other nations. There is the communications exercise, the live fire exercise and the short range air defense exercise to demonstrate interoperability and readiness by al the participating nations.
The live fire exercise was the unit's culmination of their deployment in the European Theater and was conducted at 11:30 a.m. in Ustka, Poland along the Baltic Sea. Several nations were present during the exercise and watched as the U.S. Army demonstrated their air defense capabilities by using hitting drones that were flown over the sea.
"Today's event was actually pretty extraordinary, we had quite a few nations come together and test out their anti-air capabilities." Said Sgt. Bryce Nickolas Lundberg. "We were able to hit the most targets of any unit that participated in this exercise and were effective while testing out a brand new weapons system."
The "Catdogs" were the first unit to test the updated FIM-92 Stinger, which is a handheld, shoulder fired air defense weapon commonly used to take down aircrafts. They also demonstrated the AN/TWQ-1 Avenger Missile System.
"This exercise was very important because it allowed us to understand more clearly and more fully what our allies are capable of doing and we could demonstrate what we are capable of doing because we all bring something different to the table," said Cpt. Charles Vasquez commander of C Battery, 1st Battalion, and 174th Air Defense Artillery regiment. "It showed different levels of proficiently, different technical aspects and that makes us a stronger international air defense community within the United States military."
Through this exercise the U.S. and these countries, aim to strengthen Poland's structural defense against all potential adversaries and maintain a healthy alliance between the allied forces and partners. Exercises, such as Tobruq Legacy 2019, send a clear message that the U.S., along with its allies and partners, skillfully work together for collective defense.
The joint forces' goal is to have a stronger bond by conducting more exercises, such as this one, to help strengthen Poland's defenses in the event of an attack by potential adversaries
"We as a battery in a matter of a week were able to integrate fully with the polish air defense. That at a drop of hat we as an air defense community can integrate fully with our allies and provide lethal fires to defend friendly airspace," said Vasquez.