US Army, July 29, 2014 - DRAWSKO POMORSKIE, Poland by Spc Hector Rene Membreno-Canales - Paratroopers of the Polish 18th Airborne Battalion, the U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade and the Royal Canadian Regiment worked together during combined training as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve at Ziemsko Airfield July 17.
I think in the big picture this is another example of how we work together,” said U.S. Army Maj. Nathan Williams, operations officer, 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade. “We shared some of our procedures and some of our capabilities by conducting an exercise together.”
The exercise began with a parachute jump by the 18th Polish Airborne, which acted as the opposing force, while the allied paratroopers demonstrated how they would secure an airfield against enemy combatants.
After the Polish parachute jump, the American paratroopers dismounted from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, then threw smoke grenades to conceal the Polish and Canadian ground forces that advanced to a defensive position in order to gain fire superiority.
“This demonstrates that we can cooperate at all levels - both politically and nationally - but also at the platoon, company and battalion levels,” said Canadian Army Maj. Edward Jun, commander, Company M, 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment. “Being able to integrate American air assets, Polish air assets and Canadian land assets with our different equipment is important for a small military like ours.”
After the exercise, Polish Lt. Gen. Lech Majewski, chief of the General Command of the Polish armed forces and Lt. Col. Kyle Reed, the American squadron commander, met near static displays of military equipment to speak with paratroopers from all three armies.
“Working with Canadian and American forces has been going very well, our procedures are basically the same,” said Polish Army Capt. Marcin Wilga, commander, 2nd Assault Company, 18th Airborne Battalion, 6th Airborne Brigade. “Together we have the ability to load a plane, drop from a plane and move through objectives.”
Approximately 600 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne are in Poland and the Baltics in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve to demonstrate commitment to NATO obligations and sustain interoperability with allied forces.