Battle Group Poland held its culminating combined arms live-fire exercise, Rifle Forge, from Oct. 30 through Nov. 10 at Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland, integrating NATO fire capabilities. Battle Group Poland’s two new contingents, the Romanian Land Forces Iron Cheetahs and British Army’s Black Horse Troop, combined forces with the rest of the Battle Group for the exercise. The Iron Cheetahs provide Battle Group Poland’s air defense capability. In this exercise the Iron Cheetahs used Gepards to track and destroy simulated unmanned aerial vehicles. This live-fire exercise also integrated the British Army’s Black Horse Troop and their reconnaissance capabilities.
“It’s really important for the Black Horse Troop to be able to integrate with our NATO allies as it is the way that we prove our credibility and enable us to demonstrate the capabilities we have.” British Army Major William Roome, Black Horse Troop commander said.
“This has been a great opportunity to learn more about working in a joint environment. As air defense, we are here to make sure that our allies are able to conduct their operations on the ground in complete safety,” Romanian Land Forces 1st Lt. Andrei Savaniu, Iron Cheetahs platoon leader said.
“It’s really important for the Black Horse Troop to be able to integrate with our NATO allies as it is the way that we prove our credibility and enable us to demonstrate the capabilities we have. We’re trying to demonstrate cohesion, the way we stick together and work together. And, [we are demonstrating] the capabilities we bring to bear during this multinational exercise,” British Army Major William Roome, Black Horse Troop commander said.
The Battle Group Commander, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Craig Boyles, echoed the sentiment, “The idea is to practice combining all our arms in order to strengthen interoperability. What we’re doing is synchronizing all of our fires in time, space, purpose and resources.”
The Poland-based multinational battalion Battle Group, known as Battle Group Poland (BGPOL) is currently led by the United States Army’s 2nd (“Cougars”) Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment (United States) headquartered in Rose Barracks, Germany. The Battle Group consists of a US combined-arms battalion, a Sabre Squadron from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, a Croatian rocket artillery battery, and an ADA company from the Romanian Army. The Battle Group is attached to the Polish Army’s 15th Mechanized Brigade and based in Orzysz located south of Kaliningrad Oblast and 120 kilometers away from the Suwalki Gap.
Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) is a NATO-allied forward-deployed defense and deterrence military force in Central and Northern Europe. This posture in Central Europe through Poland and Northern Europe through Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, is in place in order to protect and reassure the security of NATO’s Central and Northern European member states on NATO’s eastern flank. Following Russia’s invasion of Crimea and its War in Donbas, NATO’s member states agreed at the 2016 Warsaw summit to forward deploy four multinational battalion battle groups to areas most likely to get attacked.