ZAGAN, Poland -- Polish and American Soldiers celebrated the arrival of American forces in Poland with a welcome ceremony at Tank Square here Jan. 12, 2017.
The ceremony marked the official start of a nine-month deployment of Soldiers from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division in Eastern Europe.
"The alliance between our nations is strong because both of our nations believe in the principles of liberty," said Polish Maj. Gen. Jaroslaw Mika, commander, 11th "Lubuska" Armored Cavalry Division, as he welcomed the Americans.
Mika went on to say he looked forward to training with the Americans because it would strengthen both nations' Soldiers.
The arrival of the "Iron Brigade" Soldiers marks a new chapter in the United States' commitment to freedom and security in Europe. This is the first time in several years a brigade has deployed with all of its heavy equipment needed to train with its allies to accomplish the mission.
"Shortly before this ceremony began," Col. Christopher Norrie, commander, 3rd Arm. Bde. Cmbt. Tm., said. "A convoy of vehicles from our 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment arrived after a four-day road march from Germany.
"Their arrival is just one small but meaningful example of how we are quickly building combat power here in Poland," Norrie said.
Over the past week more than 2,700 pieces of equipment, transported via rail and road from the German port of Bremerhaven, have arrived in Poland.
Over the next month, the "Iron Brigade" will move their troops into seven more countries across Central and Eastern Europe to train with its forces, as well as Poland.
"We will act as a 'team of teams"' said Norrie. "We will be many nations building cohesion at deterring any acts of aggression against our NATO allies."
U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51 country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.