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    2CR Demonstrates a New Capability

    2CR Demonstrates A New Capability

    Photo By Capt. Judith Marlowe | Sgt. Nicolas Kotchenreuther, a Stinger team leader from Fredericks, Maryland, assigned...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Judith Marlowe 

    2d Cavalry Regiment

    CHANIA, Greece -Dragoons with the 2d Cavalry Regiment have mastered driving their Stryker Combat Vehicles all over Europe and employing ground weapon systems, but these past few weeks they have been utilizing a different capability, Patriot Systems and Stinger missiles.

    Eight Soldiers assigned to 2CR have been training for the past few weeks on the NATO Missile Fire Installation in Crete, an island off the coast of Greece, during exercise Artemis Strike, Oct. 31-Nov. 9, 2017, after being amongst the first cavalry scouts to graduate from a Stinger Mobile Training course.

    “The course was awesome, and we were really excited to learn about the weapon system and we want to continue to learn as much as we can about it,” said Sgt. Nicolas Kotchenreuther, a Stinger team leader from Fredericks, Maryland, assigned to 4th Squadron, 2CR, the reconnaissance squadron.

    According to Col. David Shank, commander of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command in Germany, opening up the Stinger course to other military occupation specialties is straight from the chief of staff of the Army.

    “This is a recent chief of staff of the Army initiative to help build the lack of capacity and capability across the U.S. Army and help bring back the capability of short range air defense,” Shank said.

    Fourteen teams, 28 personnel assigned to various subordinate units under 2CR, successfully completed the Stinger course. Among the 28 personnel, four of them graduated at the top of their class to include Kotchenreuther and Spc. Cody Perez, a native from the Bronx, N.Y., assigned to 4/2CR.

    “With my job [infantryman], we are so used to looking at the ground that we forget there are air assets so the course completely changed our aspect and broadened our horizons to the air avenues of approach,” said Perez.

    The 14 teams graduated on Oct. 13, 2017 in Grafenwoehr, Germany. This course was originally created only for air defense artillery Soldiers, but was opened up to combat arms for the first time in 25 years with the intention of filling a gap and providing maneuver units the ability to not only be successful in battle on the ground but in the air space too.

    “2d Cavalry Regiment was selected first for this course, because they wanted to bring back SHORAD [short range] capabilities to maneuver units,” said Capt. Dominick Falcon, the 2CR Air Defense and Air Space Management Officer in Charge. “With 2CR being in the unique structure it has and working with ally forces it was a unique opportunity to reallocate SHORAD capabilities. This can help benefit not just 2CR, but also our partners and allies in the European theater.”

    According to Shank, Artemis Strike was the capstone event for those top teams. Artemis Strike is an annual exercise led by the Germans and include over 200 U.S. personnel. During this exercise, 2CR Soldiers fired Stinger missiles for the first time.

    Kotchenreuther and Perez, two of the four Soldiers who graduated in the top of their class, fired Stinger missiles on the last day of the exercise in front of many distinguished visitors to include the U.S. Army Europe Commander, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges.

    “It was a great experience,” said Kotchenreuther. We did a lot of training to lead up to it. To see all of the training put to use in a culminating event of firing the missile live was very exciting for me and my gunner. It was more than what I anticipated. It was very exciting actually getting behind the missile and watching it fly and destroy targets.”

    Now that Perez and Kotchenreuther fired live Stinger missiles, they look forward to bringing their knowledge and experience back to their units to teach their peers everything they have learned in the course and during the multinational exercise.

    “We are going to cross train and share our experiences with the individuals who weren’t able to attend the course,” added Perez.
    This exercise was only the beginning for opening the door to a capability that will fill any gaps that may exist to be more lethal.

    “This exercise has made us more lethal as a team with an anti-air asset,” said Kotchenreuther.

    These Soldiers are now taking their experience to Hohenfels, Germany immediately following the Artemis Strike closing ceremony to participate in Allied Spirit VII, a multinational training exercise. During AS VII, they will use missiles to defeat simulated opposing forces.

    Col. Patrick Ellis, 79th Colonel of 2CR, has full confidence in the newest 2CR Missile Teams.

    “They leave from here and go straight into the box [7th Army Training Command’s Hohenfels Training Area] and fight as a Stinger missile team, which is really exciting because they haven’t had Stingers in the box in a really long time,” said Ellis.



    Date Taken: 11.10.2017
    Date Posted: 11.10.2017 17:50
    Story ID: 254951
    Location: CHANIA, GR 
    Hometown: BRONX, NY, US
    Hometown: FREDERICK, MD, US

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