A US Army artillery brigade conducts first live-fire in Estonia

The US Army Europe’s 41st Field Artillery Brigade has deployed a battery of multiple launch rocket systems for exercise Rail Gunner Rush from 1-10 September in Tapa, Estonia, together with the Estonian Defence Forces.

According to the US Army, this is 41st Field Artillery Brigade’s first live-fire training event outside of Germany.

Approximately 70 soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, will conduct the live fire with members of the Estonian Defence Forces’ 1st Infantry Brigade.

“Rail Gunner Rush will demonstrate the strong bilateral partnership between the US and Estonia, and test the brigade’s deployment capabilities, readiness and interoperability with NATO allies,” the US Army said in a statement. “This routine training exercise is not tied to any current events in the region.”

Demonstrating the interoperability and combined capabilities

The exercise is designed to give US soldiers an opportunity to conduct live-fire exercises with their multiple rockets launch systems.

“Rail Gunner Rush is an exercise where we are working with our Estonian partners and allies to demonstrate our interoperability and combined capabilities,” Captain Andrew McLucas, 1-6 FAR Commander, told the Army Times. “It’s a great opportunity, and I am really excited to get to know the Estonians we are working with.”

A pair of Germany-based rocket launchers of the US Army Europe’s 41st Field Artillery Brigade. Photo by the US Army Europe 41st Field Artillery Brigade.

To perform this exercise, the 41st Field Artillery Brigade transported its personnel, equipment and vehicles by multiple avenues such as road, rail and air travel.

“We made it happen within three weeks of preparation,” Sergeant Monica McCaskill, a radar operator for the brigade, said. “I am excited to be in a different country, get more experience with my job and work with everyone here.”

Over USD190 million in US support

The 41st Field Artillery Brigade is the only European based US’ Field Artillery Brigade, providing strategic, operational and tactical-level fires and support throughout the US European Command.

COVID-19 precautionary measures will be taken to ensure the health and protection of participating armed forces and the local population.

According to the US embassy in Estonia, the United States has provided more than USD190 million in combined security assistance to Estonia over the last several years and conducts nearly 150 military-to-military engagements per year, with over 80 of those taking place with US personnel in Estonia.

“This support demonstrates the US commitment to defence cooperation with Estonia, and to the transatlantic strategic relationship between the United States and Europe which has been forged over the past seven decades and is built on a foundation of shared values, experiences and vision,” the embassy added.

Cover: A rocket launcher of the US Army Europe’s 41st Field Artillery Brigade in a live-fire exercise in Germany. Photo by the US Army Europe 41st Field Artillery Brigade.

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