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Validation Exercise Tests US And UK Interoperability

A 4th Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment STRYKER pulls alongside a Light Dragoons JACKAL during an integrated operation at JMRC Hohenfels [US Army: Sgt. Devon Bistarkey]

British Army personnel from the Light Dragoons attached to 4th Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment of the US Army have just participated in a Validation Exercise to test leader proficiency, communication interoperability and coordination with adjacent units.

The manoeuvres, held this week at at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) Hohenfels in Germany, are part of the validation process for the British contingent deploying to north-east Poland as part of the US-led battalion battlegroup which forms part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP). The US 2nd Cavalry Regiment, formed more than 180 years ago as the 2nd Regiment of Dragoons, and still nicknamed the Second Dragoons, has the 8×8 STRYKER IAV as its primary transport.

OC A Squadron of The Light Dragoons directs troops during a terrain reconnaissance mission at the JMRC Hohenfels [US Army: Sgt Devon Bistarkey]

The mission of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment is to deter adversaries, reassure Allies, and enhances the NATO Alliance through a trained and ready formation that is forward deployed across Europe. Their base is Vilseck in northeast Bavaria, but over the last couple of years they have regularly deployed squadrons overland to the Baltic States to bolster defences and reassure NATO’s smaller nations that they have the backing of the whole Alliance should Russia send its troops westward yet again.

Based in Catterrick the Light Dragoons, nicknamed the Northern Cavalry, function in the Light Cavalry role as part of the British Army’s new Adaptable Force. They operate primarily with highly mobile JACKAL 4×4 recce vehicles and COYOTE 6×6 logistic support vehicles, recently refurbished and repainted NATO Green for eFP duties, plus PANTHER 4×4 command and liaison vehicles.

Prior to A Squadron leaving for Germany to join 2nd Cavalry Regiment, C&S joined them on the firing ranges in Yorkshire and if all goes to plan we will bring readers more on the regiment, their new VIRTUS kit, and the Annual Combat Marksmanship Test.

Light Dragoons dismount their JACKAL and prepare to conceal the vehicle during a tactical pause while training at the JMRC, March 12th, 2017 [US Army: Sgt Devon Bistarkey]

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