U.S. Soldiers from Bravo Battery, 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, train Polish Troops on the M109A6 Paladin to give their allies a better understanding of its capabilities on April 28, 2017, here.
The field artillery battalion, part of 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, is currently stationed in Poland in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve in an effort to strengthen the NATO alliance and deter aggression in the region.
The soldiers spent the morning leading the Polish through a classroom brief and a hands-on demonstration of their equipment, to include the M109A6 Paladin and their M1068 Fire Direction Control Vehicle.
“Some Polish officers and Non Commissioned Officers came in and we gave them a quick brief on the basic capabilities of the Paladin and what a Paladin Platoon is capable of,” said 1st. Lt. Kyle Sandulli, Platoon Leader, Bravo Battery, 3rd Bn., 29th FA Regt. “Then we brought them out to a static display in the motor pool and then we ran them through a crew drill and what the FDC does and what a crew drill looks like in an actual Paladin.”
Operation Atlantic Resolve provides the opportunity to better understand the equipment allied countries use to improve the common understanding between the two nations.
“The Polish have a better idea of what we are capable of,” said Sgt. First Class Edwin Hernandez, Platoon Sergeant, Bravo Battery, 3rd Bn., 29th FA Regt. “I know they have a lot of question, but it’s better to see it in person.”
The presence of U.S. Forces in Eastern Europe provides unique training opportunities for soldiers at all levels to improve their skills and better understand their roles and responsibilities.
“It helps the soldiers too, especially at the lower levels,” Sandulli said. “It helped them think critically when some of the officers asked them questions.”
One of the biggest capabilities questions posed by the Polish was the U.S. ability to remain effective in the event communications are lost and digital systems are no longer available.
“There were a lot of questions about what would happen if our systems go down,” Hernandez said. “They wanted to know if we can still shoot degraded, and yes we can definitely shoot degraded.”
Some of the benefit of training with allied forces is recognizing common issues and opening the dialogue between the two forces for overcoming those hurdles.
“They run into the same troubles as us,” Hernandez said. “It’s being able to trouble shoot those deficiencies and learn through trial and error that helps us both get better.”