US Army, Lithuanian Land Forces partner for training

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  1. Falcon

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    US Army, Lithuanian Land Forces partner for training

    PABRADE TRAINING AREA, Lithuania (Oct. 13, 2015) -- The 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team recently held Operation Eagle Shock, a combined arms, live-fire exercise in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve at Pabrade Training Area, Lithuania, Oct. 8-14.

    The 1-503rd is responsible for Operation Atlantic Resolve North, which covers the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and also Poland.

    Partnering with the Lithuanian Land Forces, the 1-503rd Infantry leaders intended to develop leaders, increase unit lethality, and build interoperability during Operation Eagle Shock. According to unit leadership, the operation was vital, and beneficial.

    "I firmly believe that there is no better place to be a leader than in Europe right now," said Lt. Col. Michael Wagner, the 1-503rd Battalion commander. "The requirements and responsibilities that our officers and NCOs have as they operate on their own as a company in different countries is pretty unique."

    Wagner mentioned that his officers and noncommissioned officers, or NCOs, interact with high level host-nation leadership when planning and executing training across the Baltic States.

    "It's an honor to be able to serve here at this critical time and to demonstrate our nation's commitment to collective security in Europe by training with our NATO allies," Wagner said.

    Throughout the operation, Soldiers of the 1-503rd Infantry, as well as those of the Lithuanian Land Forces, trained on objectives that included conducting support by fire, breaching obstacles, and occupying an anti-armor firing position.

    During Operation Eagle Shock, platoons participated in phases to include blank-fire, live-fire and night-fire iterations.

    As a grand finale for its time in country, the 1-503rd used Operation Eagle Shock as an opportunity to put to good use its training from the past.

    "Eagle Shock is the culmination of what we have been doing here for the last five months," said 1st Lt. Steven Siberski, platoon leader for D Company, 1-503rd. "Over the time we've been here, we've been conducting live-fire exercises at the platoon- and section-level and now we are working at the company where it is not only American forces, but also with our Lithuanian counterparts."

    "So now we're integrating Apache helicopters, infantry units, combat engineers, howitzers and mortars to really bring together full spectrum of operations," Siberski continued.

    Aside from the high-level training received by both the U.S. Soldiers and Lithuanian Land Forces, the opportunity to work together was the highlight of the event.

    "I really enjoyed working with the Lithuanians because they bring new things to the table," Siberski said. "It only makes us better to compare how we do things and bring that together."

    This sentiment was echoed by members of the Lithuanian Land Forces.

    "I think this training is important because we're working with American Soldiers," said Vytautas Cereskevicius, a soldier with the Juozas Vitkaus Engineer Battalion of the Lithuanian Land Forces. "I think it is very good for us and American Soldiers because they can teach us and we can teach American Soldiers good things."

    Operation Atlantic Resolve provides U.S. and allied forces the opportunity to work and train together and improves their ability to operate as a combined force in which capability is essential to the security and strength of Europe.

    The 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team is the U.S. Army's Contingency Response Force in Europe, providing rapid forces to the U.S. European, Africa and Central Commands areas of responsibilities.

    http://www.army.mil/article/156992/US_Army__Lithuanian_Land_Forces_partner_for_training/
     
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  2. Falcon

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