Torun, Poland -- Soldiers from the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command along with partners from the Polish 3rd Surface to Air Missile Brigade and the British 19th Tank Transporter Squadron conducted a closing ceremony 17 June 2016, to mark the conclusion of exercise Anakonda 16.
In a small sports stadium adjacent to the Polish training area in Torun, almost 700 Soldiers and Airmen from Poland, Britain, and the United States stood excitedly in formation as part of the closing ceremony celebrating their tremendous accomplishments during exercise Anakonda 16. While some of this excitement obviously stems from their impending return home after several weeks in the field, these Soldiers are also proud of what they have accomplished working side by side to increase multinational mission readiness.
"It is the cooperation we have achieved over the last 2 weeks of this exercise." Stated Col. Andrzej Dabrowski, the 3rd SAM Brigade Commander, "We can learn a lot from you and I hope you learned a lot form us."
Over the course of this 10 day exercise these units coordinated to conduct over 18 different training events. These events, covering every aspect of warfighting, ranged from convoy logistics and recovery to medical treatment to an Avenger Stinger Missile live fire. The only thing more impressive then the wide range of training events conducted was the creation and sustainment of the first ever multinational integrated air picture between Poland and the United States. This first of its kind air picture is a true testament to both units' dedication and commitment to multinational interoperability, and is just a glimpse of what the future holds for these two partners and their allies.
"We have reached the end of Anakonda 16, but not the end of our partnership. The amount of multinational training we have accomplished is amazing." stated Lt. Col. Douglas Lynch, the 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment Commander, "We look forward to strengthening our relationship over the coming years."