NOWA DĘBA, Poland -- In old Western movies, whenever a settler on the frontier was in danger, the one thing that you could always anticipate was the blast of the bugle, and the men of the U.S. Cavalry riding to the rescue. The days of the frontier may be over, but the mystique of this legendary force can be seen here in the Polish forests.
Over the past few weeks, U.S. Soldiers assigned to P Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment and Polish paratroopers from the Polish Armed Forces' 6th Airborne Brigade have been working hard to familiarize themselves with each other's tactics and equipment, and during an air assault exercise held at the Nowa Dęba Training Area July 17, 2015 their ability to successfully work together was put to the test.
U.S. Soldiers assigned to P Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment and Polish soldiers assigned to the Polish army's 6th Airborne Brigade pull security after exiting a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter from Company B, 4th Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment (Assault Helicopter Battalion) during an air assault operation July 17, 2015 near Nowa Dęba, Poland. During the training, the U.S. and Polish soldiers were responsible for establishing an observation point and assaulting an objective. The U.S. and Polish troops are part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, an ongoing multinational partnership focused on joint training and security cooperation with U.S. Army allies. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Anderson, 13th Public Affairs Detachment.)
With over 60 troops from the U.S. and Polish armies participating in the exercise, success would ultimately depend on how well the troops learned from each other.
The goal was for UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters from Company B, 4th Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment (Assault Helicopter Battalion) to insert a platoon of U.S. Army cavalry scouts to establish an observation point while also inserting the Polish soldiers to seize an enemy bunker.
U.S. Army Sgt. Steven Morris, a section sergeant assigned to P Troop, said he was proud of the way his Soldiers performed during the training, even though, as a member of a scout platoon, he was concerned about the lack of undergrowth they would normally prefer moving through.
“Due to the lack of vegetation, we had to concentrate our movements along a more difficult route,” said Morris.
As the scouts progressed through the moss-covered forest, they frequently had to adjust their routes in order to blend in better with the surrounding foliage. They stopped often to confer with their maps and to allow time for the Polish radio operator to communicate with the Polish element in charge of assaulting the bunker.
Polish Kapral Paweo Krupa, an infantryman assigned to the Polish army's 6th Airborne Brigade, said the trees and terrain often interfered with his ability to communicate with the other Polish element, but ultimately they were able to overcome all difficulties they faced.
“We've been working hard with our U.S. allies to ensure we'd be able to accomplish this mission,” said Krupa. “The trees may have added an extra degree of difficulty, but we were able to work through these challenges and still be able to have our observation point in place.”
As the scouts reached their objective, the Polish team began their assault by unleashing a barrage of machine gun and rifle fire at the bunker. Huge billowing clouds of yellow smoke provided by Polish smoke grenades soon engulfed the area surrounding the bunker as the assault team advanced.
After securing the objective, the teams made their way back through the woods to the waiting helicopters. As they soared above the Polish countryside, camouflaged painted faces broke into huge smiles as they savored the feeling of a job well done.
Reflecting on the event, Morris said having the added support of the helicopter crews made the mission easier than it would have been using their normal vehicles.
“Having the helicopters was a huge benefit, as we would normally have to park our vehicles and move an extra eight kilometers to reach our objective,” said Morris. “Having the ability to just get in and accomplish our mission, and then hop back out definitely made a huge difference.”
With their mission complete, these allies reversed their course and got back into the air, knowing they've proven they can effectively meet all challenges they may face.
The air assault took place as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, an ongoing multinational partnership focused on joint training and security cooperation with U.S. Army allies, whose mission is the continued peace and stability of Europe.
By U.S. Army Sgt. Brandon Anderson
Provided through DVIDS
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