By Capt. Scott Walters (3ABCT, 4th ID)March 30, 2017
ZAGAN, Poland -- Approximately 1,200 Soldiers from 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team ("Iron Brigade"), 4th Infantry Division, and their equipment are currently moving from Poland to Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, to participate in Combined Resolve VIII starting in April.
About 300 Iron Brigade Soldiers will remain in western Poland to continue training with Polish land forces as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Combined Resolve VIII is a U.S. Army Europe-directed, 7th Army Training Command-executed multinational exercise running from Apr. 19 to June 16 designed to facilitate training among the Army's Regionally Allocated Forces (RAF) for Operation Atlantic Resolve and NATO Allies, with the goal of preparing forces in Europe to operate together to promote stability and security in the region.
"During our nine-month rotation under Atlantic Resolve, the brigade will repeatedly mass and move around central and eastern Europe to exercise the ability to maneuver an armored force across Alliance member-states," said Maj. Jon Anderson, operations officer, 3rd ABCT, 4th Inf. Div. "The first example of this was our arrival to Europe in January, when we assembled our forces in Poland after our equipment arrived in Germany."
"Now our movement to Germany to participate in Combined Resolve VIII is just the latest example. Participation in these multinational exercise not only demonstrates our ability to freely move an armored brigade around Europe, it provides the best opportunities to train with as many Allies as possible so that we are collectively stronger as a fighting force," Anderson said.
Since January, the 3rd ABCT, 4th Inf. Div., and Polish 11th Armored Cavalry Division have worked daily to share knowledge and capabilities in areas such as field artillery, indirect fires coordination, reconnaissance, defending against weapons of mass destruction, armor maneuvers, and staff exchanges to build a unified environment in military decision making and planning, said Col. Darius Parylakowi, commander of the 10th Armored Cavalry Brigade.
"This cooperation gives the 10th Armored Cavalry Brigade an opportunity to raise the level of interoperability of the brigade, which is the core of the NATO force as well as the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force. This has helped us build procedural bonds on a tactical level through the cooperation of our joined brigade and battalion staffs," Parylakowi said.
The 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, lived and worked alongside Parylakowi's brigade, and Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Chad Foster said the combined training efforts "has been a model for what interoperability training and partnership should be.
"Because of the proficiency of the 10th Armored Cavalry Brigade and the resources made available by the Polish Army, interoperability training has been synonymous with our own readiness. Meeting our live-fire readiness objectives was made possible by these outstanding allies," Foster said.
"We were lucky to serve beside them. Their great history and tradition matches our own. This is an experience that our Soldiers will carry with them for the rest of their lives," he said.
The 4th Sqdn, 10th Cav. Regt., has been moving its troops from Sweitoszow to Germany this week.
Other units moving to Germany for Combined Resolve VIII are the Iron Brigade headquarters, currently based in Zagan; 64th Brigade Support Battalion, currently at Skwierzyna; elements of 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, formerly based at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Areas; and elements of 588th Brigade Engineer Battalion, currently based at Zagan.
About 300 Iron Soldiers will remain in Poland, including a move to Zagan of the 3-29 Field Artillery's headquarters and a field artillery battery that includes six Paladin M109A6 self-propelled howitzers; and the battalion headquarters for 588th BEB, which will remain in Boleslawiec.
Besides the 3rd ABCT, 4th Inf. Div.'s continued presence in Poland, other U.S. Army forces are rotating into the country. This includes the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment-led NATO Enhanced Forward Presence battle group, which is deploying to Orzysz with 1,000 U.S. Soldiers and 350 personnel from the United Kingdom and Romania.
Other units arriving in Poland include a combat service support battalion, which arrives today in Gdansk to manage logistical operations in support of Atlantic Resolve; the 89th Military Police Battalion to Zagan in May; and Soldiers from 15th Brigade Engineer Battalion, who will be in Sweitoszow from mid-April to mid-June to assist in construction near the base.
The 3rd ABCT, 4th Inf. Div.'s deployment in support of Atlantic Resolve marked the beginning of a continuous U.S. armored brigade presence in Europe. The start of "heel to toe" rotations, made possible by the European Reassurance Initiative, is a strong signal of the United States' ironclad commitment to strengthening the defensive and deterrent capabilities of the Alliance.