Swift Response 21 brings both countries together in order to enhance interoperability and improve tactics for potential real-world dangers. Last month, British soldiers teamed with the 1-319th Abn. Field Artillery Regt. Soldiers for two weeks at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, strengthening their partnership between the two countries and their soldiers.
Learning the U.S. procedures for basic soldiering and the role of an infantryman and improving their overall readiness is critical to improving interoperability.
“I think it's helped us massively, we've learned how to jump with the American parachutes and for us, specifically, we've learned how to call in artillery with American guns,” said British Capt. Wesley Schorah, with 7th Parachute Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery. He thoroughly enjoyed being able to get to know one another, and building a camaraderie between the two countries’ Soldiers.
During the two weeks, the British soldiers made two jumps stateside with the 82nd before loading on C-130’s from Fort Bragg to participate in the Joint Forcible Entry earlier this week in Estonia, making three jumps total and earning their U.S. jump wings.
Today's artillery live fire is a validation exercise for the 1-319th soldiers; proving in the event that they get activated and are called to action, they will be able to support allies and partners when needed.
Units and assets out in the field will call for artillery fire on locations within the target area. 1-319th Soldiers are supporting their movement, as the units in the field conduct training as well.
“It was definitely an experience that I haven't had before. It’s a good training opportunity to have them out here with us and I enjoyed talking with them and seeing how they operate compared to us,” said U.S. Army Spc. Nic Harrell, a gunner from Charlie Battery 1-319th AFAR. “And now we get to kind of teach them a little bit about our Howitzer and its capabilities, and hopefully they'll have a little bit of fun shooting it as well.”
So far Swift Response 21 has been a memorable exercise starting with the Joint Forcible Entry to Air Assaults and Live Fires and with a few more days left of training, there's more to come.
“Yeah, I just think that the way that us British have been hosted in America has been amazing. We couldn't have asked for more, especially these guys here with the 1-319th. All the way up from the commanding officer, all the way down to the privates that we speak to here on the gun line. It's just good to work in that relationship,” said Schorah.
DEFENDER-Europe 21 is a large-scale U.S. Army-led exercise designed to build readiness and interoperability between the U.S., NATO allies and partner militaries. This year, more than 28,000 multinational forces from 26 nations will conduct nearly simultaneous operations across more than 30 training areas in more than a dozen countries from the Baltics to the strategically important Balkans and Black Sea Region. Follow the latest news and information about DEFENDER-Europe 21, visit www.EuropeAfrica.army.mil/DefenderEurope.