TRZEBIEN, Poland -- The "tanks and brads" are offloaded. The Soldiers are conducting their daily checks to make sure everything is up and running in preparation for their gunnery tables later this month.
"We offloaded 37 vehicles yesterday," said Capt. Joshua Causie, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 68th Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. "We will spend the next few days organizing the motor pool and conducting preventive maintenance checks on the vehicles in preparation for use over the next nine months."
The arrival of 3rd Arm. Bde. Cmbt. Team., 4th Inf. Div. marks the start of back-to-back rotations of armored brigades in Europe as part of Atlantic Resolve. The vehicles and equipment, totaling more than 2,700 pieces, will be shipped to Poland for certification before deploying across Europe for use in training with partner nations. This rotation will enhance deterrence capabilities in the region, improve the U.S. ability to respond to potential crises and defend allies and partners in the European community. U.S. forces will focus on strengthening capabilities and sustaining readiness through bilateral and multinational training and exercises.
The arrival of the vehicles in Poland marks the end of a nearly two-month journey via rail and sea from Fort Carson, Colo. for the vehicles. Like any vehicle that has been in storage for nearly two months, it was imperative that they be checked out prior to use.
"After we offloaded the vehicles at the rail head, we drove them the 10 kilometers or so, to the base," said Capt. Edward Bachar, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 68th Armored Regiment. "We have been conducting cold-start procedures every four hours to make sure we are fully operational. I am happy to say that the majority of our vehicles are running, and we are now conducting final tweaks to make sure everything is good."
Over the next 10 days or so the Soldiers will continue to run their vehicles and reconfigure them for operations, as well as conduct crew roll over and evacuation drills in preparation for unit gunnery tables that will start on Jan. 20.
"The Soldiers are excited for gunnery," said Causie. "There is nothing better than being in a tank and shooting big bullets. It's fun."
The Soldiers will spend about a month training as a battalion in Poland before pushing out to the Balkans where they will conduct training in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.