Written by U.S. Army 1st Lt. R.J. Peek
Task Force Rakkasan Public Affairs
Ghazni Province, Afghanistan – For the past four months, Soldiers with 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, worked for Task Force White Eagle in eastern Ghazni Province.
In order to improve coordination and share counterinsurgency and combat tactics, techniques and procedures, 3rd Bn., 187th Inf. Regt. sent four officers to spend five days embedded with Polish Battle Group Alpha.U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Peter Sprenger from Stockton, CA, platoon leader for Company A, 3rd Bn., 187th Inf. Regt; U.S. Army 1st Lt. Brady Hassell from Virginia Beach, VA, platoon leader for Co. B, 3rd Bn., 187th Inf. Regt.; U.S. Army Capt. Trevor Saunders from Phillips Ranch, Calif., executive officer for Co. C, 3rd Bn., 187th Inf. Regt.; and U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jesus Loya from El Paso, Texas, platoon leader for Co. A, 1st Bn., 187th Inf. Regt., represented their companies and the U.S. Army as they lived, worked and fought shoulder to shoulder with Polish soldiers for four days.
“It was a great experience to work with the Polish for a few operations,” said Loya. “It let us see what our partners are doing on our left and right. This will help everyone to work together on future operations.”
The exchange started with presentations on the Polish equipment and a visit to the range to fire some of the weapons unique to the Polish army such as the AR-47. The officers then participated in mission planning and the execution of two operations before moving on with the rest of the exchange.
The U.S. officers were impressed with the Polish army’s cordon and search techniques, the maneuverability of their vehicles through rough terrain and their ability to operate across all lines of effort as they combined the security with the distribution of humanitarian aid to the locals.
“They showed very strong tactical proficiency,” said Saunders. “Their vehicles performed very well with off road maneuverability, firepower and ability to carry dismounts. Overall, the operation was very impressive.”