By Maj. Randy ReadyMay 13, 2016
DRAWSKO POMORSKIE, Poland -- Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment have brought U.S. Abrams Main Battle Tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles back to Poland as they took over the Operation Atlantic Resolve mission in the country, May 1.
Operation Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of continued U.S. commitment to the collective security of Europe through a series of multinational training and security cooperation activities designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America's dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region, in light of the Russian intervention in the Ukraine.
This is the battalion's second Atlantic Resolve rotation, as they were most recently in Poland and the Baltics in December 2015. The Soldiers look to expand the relationships made during their previous rotation.
"We plan to build on the solid foundation we established with our Polish Allies several months ago and continue to show the Polish people the United States remains committed to Poland and the collective defense of Europe," said Lt. Col. Johnny Evans, the commander for 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment. "The lessons learned are recent and still fresh. We will use this to our mutual advantage and further develop interoperability among our Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Polish allies."
The battalion will be shooting tank and Bradley gunnery in Poland over the next month to prepare for Exercise Anakonda 16 this summer.
Anakonda 16 is a Polish-led exercise taking place in Poland, June 7-17. The exercise will include over 25,000 participants from 24 nations, supporting assurance and deterrence measures by demonstrating allied defense capabilities to deploy, mass and sustain combat power.
"Poland has a variety of ranges and robust resources that support the gunnery requirements associated with a combined arms battalion," said Evans. "The training of our crews, squads, platoons, and companies follows our deliberate training progression from individual to the collective level. This will enable our battalion to better support the training opportunities present in Anakonda 16."
As the regionally allocated force for U.S. European Command, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division is scheduled to take over the U.S. Army's Operation Atlantic Resolve mission in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, July 1.