CAMP ADAZI, Latvia - In less than 30 days, the Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, have assembled, tested, and forward deployed full armored assets throughout the Baltic region in support of Atlantic Resolve.
The reception of M1A2 Abrams tanks, M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Assault Breacher Vehicles, an M88 Recovery Vehicle, Humvees and additional equipment, by rail Feb. 8, 2017, in Garkalne, Latvia, marks the final component for the "Silver Lions" to begin partnered training here.
"This puts closure on the deployment process itself," said Capt. Bryan Buxser, commander of Company A, 1-68 AR. "Now that we have our equipment and personnel, we are one hundred percent, so now we can focus on the interoperability with the Latvians and our NATO allies."
Buxser contributes the success of the operation to the thorough planning and extensive training the Soldiers completed in the months leading up to 1-68 AR's arrival in Latvia.
The Silver Lions worked through skills at the individual level all the way through collective training as a brigade, in addition to a 30-day training rotation at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Cali.
Upon arrival in Poland last month, the Soldiers of 1-68 AR wasted no time preparing their equipment and testing their main guns all within their first 10 days on ground.
"It shows the speed of assembly ... being able to come from Fort Carson, Colo., on the west coast of the U.S., and now deploying all the way forward into the Baltics," said Lt. Col. Stephen Capehart, commander of 1-68 AR.
Increasing U.S. presence throughout the region, 1-68 AR's 9-month training rotation will be the first in a series of ongoing 'heal-to-toe' armored brigade rotations within the European theater. The continued presence of armored units demonstrates U.S. commitment to support and train alongside NATO partners.
Atlantic Resolve is a U.S. led effort in Eastern Europe that demonstrates U.S. commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region.
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.