By Capt. Joshua Wood, 299BSB, 2ABCT, 1IDOctober 2, 2017
SKWIERZYNA, Poland -- A platoon from the 299th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, known as the 'Dagger Brigade', 1st Infantry Division, marched with over 120 Polish Soldiers through the town center of Skwierzyna, Poland, Sept. 29, to celebrate the Polish Soldiers' graduation from basic training.
The Polish 35th Air Defense Artillery Squadron Commander, Maj. Robert Pulikowski, invited the 299th BSB to join the ceremony to mark their commitment to partnership in Skwierzyna. The 299th BSB arrived in Poland less than a month ago in support of Atlantic Resolve and are the guests of the 35th ADA Squadron.
"Having our Soldiers take part in the ceremony assists in our goal of fostering and enhancing civic and military partnerships in the area while we are here," said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Davis, operations sergeant, assigned to Headquarters, 299th Brigade Support Battalion.
Davis also serves as the deputy mayor for the 299th BSB on the installation, working closely with the Polish Soldiers since arriving to Poland.
During the ceremony, Maj. Joseph Komantez, the battalion support operations officer, was called to the podium to say a few words. He addressed the crowd completely in Polish. Maj. Komanetz enlisted the help of one of his unit's translators to learn the Polish language necessary for his speech.
In his speech, Maj. Komanetz thanked the Polish people for their hospitality and congratulated the graduates.
"We look forward to a great partnership with Skwierzyna, the Polish Army, and Poland," said Komanetz.
First Lt. Tyler Whitford, the brigade medical supply officer, led the U.S platoon during the ceremony.
"Although the commands were a little different than we are used to, it was a privilege and great opportunity to stand side-by-side with the Polish Soldiers during the ceremony to demonstrate our commitment to our alliance," said Whitford.
After the ceremony, leaders from the 299th BSB met with Maj. Pulikowski, Skwierzyna's mayor, Leslaw Holownia, and other community leaders.
The respective leaders from the two nations discussed their current partnership, and future opportunities for Soldiers to partner with local schools, orphanages and participate in other community events.
"Developing these positive relationships are key to strengthening our alliance and maintaining a strong Europe," said Komanetz.