By Cheryl Pellerin
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2015 – U.S. Army troops resumed Operation Atlantic Resolve land-forces training of allied and partner forces this week as 75 Stryker combat vehicles arrived in Eastern Europe, Pentagon Press spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said today.
The training will take place in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Warren added, and continues to demonstrate U.S. commitment to NATO allies.
The Stryker combat vehicles are from U.S. Army Europe’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment, elements of which will conduct training in Eastern Europe alongside soldiers from allied and partner nations, Warren said, adding that much of the training will focus on individual and team tasks.
Defense Department spokeswoman Air Force Lt. Col. Vanessa Hillman said the training also will include combined, multinational platoon-level exercises and live fires involving a combination of vehicle and foot-soldier maneuvers.
Enhanced Multinational Training
According to Warren, “Since April 2014 the U.S. Army has conducted continuous, enhanced multinational training and security cooperation activities with allies and partners in the region due to increased regional tensions following Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine.”
The Stryker combat vehicle is an eight-wheeled, air- and ground-transportable light-armored vehicle built for the Army by General Dynamics Land Systems. It has a Caterpillar engine, a 310-mile operational range, a 60-mile-an-hour top speed, and armor. Its primary armament is a Protector M-151 remote weapon station with one of two machine guns or an automatic grenade launcher.
Atlantic Resolve training involves about 550 European-based American personnel and 75 Stryker vehicles. The Stryker group is based in Germany.
Warren said elements from the Army 2nd Cavalry Regiment are replacing elements from the Army 173rd Airborne Brigade that were involved in Atlantic Resolve training before the holiday break. 2nd Cavalry elements will conduct training in the four countries until March 31, he said.
“There will be approximately one cavalry troop each in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia,” Warren said, explaining that one cavalry troop has about 20 Stryker vehicles.
Training Regional Allies and Partners
Hillman said that while elements of 2nd Cavalry Regiment participate in Atlantic Resolve, the unit also will conduct a decisive-action, training-environment exercise called Saber Junction.
That exercise will take place, she said, in the German Hohenfels and Grafenwoehr training areas and in the Black Sea region, with U.S. soldiers working alongside those from more than a dozen other NATO and partner nations.
The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division — the Army’s regionally aligned force for Europe — is expected to be the next rotational Atlantic Resolve unit when the 2nd Cavalry Regiment’s rotation ends.
The Army’s ongoing, enhanced training is supported by about $1 billion in funding from the European Reassurance Initiative, Hillman said.
This allocation is designed to enable DoD to continue efforts to reassure NATO allies, she added, and bolster the security and capacity of allies and partners in the region.