By Sgt. Juana Nesbitt
June 1, 2015
In the gravel and sand of Estonia’s Central Training Area, members of United States Congress visited Team Estonia May 29, on day one of a three-day platoon live-fire exercise.
“Today Anvil Troop, 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade part of 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Brigade, is preparing for a three-day training event and we were fortunate enough to have a group of congressional delegates come out here and visit us,” said Lt. Col. Chad C. Chalfont, commander of 2/7 IN.
The visit occurred during Operation Atlantic Resolve, an on-going series of training exercises designed to build relationships, trust and interoperability.
“Today we are visiting troops in Estonia to see the work that is happening here and witness some of the training,” said Randy Hultgren, congressional representative for Illinois’s 14th Congressional District. “We also want our NATO allies to know that we are committed and standing with them.”
In addition to reinforcing the U.S.’ support of its NATO allies, the delegates took this opportunity to learn of some concerns and challenges of those on the ground.
“We are learning what we can do as congress to come along side and show our support,” said Hultgren. “We want to know how it’s going, what we can do better, what is working and we’ll make sure to bring that back to tell our colleagues back in Washington D.C.”
During the visit, Chalfont told of the various accomplishments of Team Estonia during the past few months, provided a tour of the training area grounds, and encouraged the delegates to meet and chat with the Soldiers.
“I’m so grateful for the service and commitment to maintaining our freedom and maintaining the greatest country in the world,” said Virginia Foxx, congressional representative for North Carolina’s Fifth District. “It’s clear that they know what they are doing and are wonderful role models for Americans here and anywhere they are serving.”
As the delegates visited, some learned of the RQ-11 Raven, a small unmanned aircraft, used by Anvil Troop’s reconnaissance platoon, while others climbed on the M1A2 Abram Main Battle Tanks on display.
“It shows us the daily work that Soldiers are doing here for us,” said Foxx. “It’s an example of what is happening all over the world.”
Although members of congress usually have many issues on their plate, the most important is national defense, said Foxx.
“This helps us to remember and understand who is out there providing for the defense of the nation on a day-to-day basis and that is always very important,” she said.