Romanian Land Forces Iron Cheetahs conducted their first night live fire, demonstrating their commitment to collective defense. 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. 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.
The Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer Gepard (“anti-aircraft cannon tank Cheetah”, better known as the Flakpanzer Gepard) is an all-weather-capable German self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG). The vehicle is based on the hull of the Leopard 1 tank with a large fully rotating turret carrying the armament—a pair of 35 mm Oerlikon KDA autocannons and the two radar dishes—a general search radar at the rear of the turret and the tracking radar, and a laser rangefinder, at the front between the guns. Each gun has a firing rate of 550 rounds/min, which gives a continuous fire time of 37 seconds before running out of ammo (with 680 rounds for both guns).
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.