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Far from home – the US cavalry soldiers serving in Lithuania

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Deploying overseas is hard, but it has a purpose: the gruelling schedule makes you better at your job. Follow US Army soldiers as they work alongside their NATO Allies in Lithuania.

Synopsis

In October 2019, a unit of US Army cavalry soldiers deployed to Lithuania at that country’s request as part of US Army Europe’s Operation Atlantic Resolve. The 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Battalion 9th Cavalry Regiment sent hundreds of soldiers, tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to Pabradė Training Grounds, where they trained alongside Lithuanian forces until May 2020. A new rotation of soldiers from the same division (the 2nd Battalion 8th Cavalry Regiment) are carrying on the deployment in 2021.

In this piece, two 1-9 Cav soldiers tell you why they bear the hardships of deployment far from home and how it makes them better soldiers alongside their NATO Allies.

Footage includes shots of 1-9 Cav soldiers working out, maintaining vehicles and conducting a live-fire exercise, and interviews with First Lieutenant Matthew Lund and Corporal Caitlin Ward. Video also includes shots of 2-8 Cav soldiers conducting a live-fire exercise alongside their Lithuanian allies. Please note that footage of the 1-9 Cav was filmed prior to the coronavirus pandemic. During the 2021 deployment of the 2-8 Cav, all troops have been operating within a self-contained bubble of personnel. All soldiers tested negative for COVID-19 prior to any interactions.

Transcript

-SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)-
1st Lieutenant Matthew Lund
“As far as overseas-wise, this is my first rotation, deployment. To be deployed at 5,000-plus miles away from home...it's hard.”

-SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)-
Corporal Caitlin Ward
“We're always in the field, always working. It's 24/7, so it's hard core, to the bone, nitty gritty. It just tests you."

-SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)-
1st Lieutenant Matthew Lund
“We train here so we can work with those allied nations, those partner nations and we're trying to build that relationship with them. They see how we have operated while we train, then they know how we operate. And then everybody understands together that this is how we're going to fight and win any sort of conflict. So, it's really benefited all parties since we've been here in Lithuania.”

-SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)-
1st Lieutenant Matthew Lund
“So, here in Lithuania, in Pabradė, in general, it's very woody. There's more swamps. There's more sinkholes. The ground is just going to fall out from underneath you and your tank might get stuck.
During my platoon live-fire, there was blizzard-like conditions. It was snowing pretty hard. It was pretty rough.”

-SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)-
Corporal Caitlin Ward
“Obviously, your family’s not here, so you really have to build a strong bond with the people that you work with, and you really have to know them on a personal level.
I’m learning every day. My guys have learned more about their job, and they’ve learned that they can do this. They can overcome anything.”

-SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)-
1st Lieutenant Matthew Lund
“Something that I always try to remind everybody is that we’re here for a greater purpose. It’s not for yourself, it’s for something bigger than yourself. So, then that’s why you join the Army, because you have that selfless service. It’s difficult, but at the same time it’s also rewarding."
Music
“Cheerful Journey” by David Jones, Richard Kent
Usage rights
Some footage courtesy of the US Department of Defense. This media asset is free for editorial broadcast, print, online and radio use. It is restricted for use for other purposes.
Reference
NATO838491
ID
1686