The U.S. Army wants to keep able to respond at once to potential global threats. For the soldiers of the 82nd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division (the “Big Red One”), that kind of decisive action was recently put to the test during a rapid response readiness exercise in eastern Europe.
After being given less than a 48-hour notice, the “Blue Babe” soldiers of the 82nd Brigade Engineer Battalion tested their unit’s ability to operate, move and communicate by transporting their equipment and soldiers over 1,500 miles to conduct training operations in Estonia, March 5-14, 2018.
“We can flex the capabilities of the Dagger Brigade to any NATO nation,” said 1st Lt. Nate Hinesley, a platoon leader with the 82nd Brigade Engineer Battalion. “We demonstrated commitment to both to our allies and to potential adversaries that we can get to where we say we can get, and do what we say we can do when we get there.”
The mission for the Fort Riley, Kansas-based soldiers required them to assemble and relocate Nuclear, Biological, Chemical reconnaissance vehicles, as well as other essential military equipment, across several countries. For this to work, the soldiers had to communicate efficiently with both U.S. and civilian logistical personnel.
Once the soldiers arrived in Estonia, Estonian soldiers operating as liaisons met with the U.S. troops to help coordinate the final steps of the multinational equipment transport, and to help plan the following days of operations during the U.S. Soldiers’ mission. They conducted their training operations at Estonia’s NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group.
The battle group is part of a unique collection of NATO allies who are deployed for the defense of allies and deterrence of aggression in Eastern Europe. The “Blue Babe” soldiers trained alongside British, Estonian, and Danish troops, who are all deployed with the battle group.
The U.S. soldiers are deployed as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a U.S. commitment to the collective security of Europe through the deployment of rotational U.S. forces in cooperation with NATO allies and partner nations.