POWIDZ, POLAND, (May 11, 2017) -- The Honorable Robert M. Speer, acting secretary of the Army, toured and discussed the future of operations with U.S. Army Europe's leaders at Powidz Air Base, Poland, on May 6.

U.S. Army Europe Soldiers and equipment recently began arriving in Powidz to establish another foothold in NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence and continued progress on U.S. Army's Operation Atlantic Resolve.

"I'm very confident that we're going to leave here more ready than we arrived," said Col. Clair A. Gill, commander of 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (LI). "We're developing an understanding of how to operate effectively in Europe, and that knowledge will be invaluable to pass on to the next incoming rotational aviation brigade and for our future missions next year."

Speer, who was accompanied by Maj. Gen. Timothy McGuire, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Europe, met with leaders from 4th Infantry Division, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 16th Sustainment Brigade, and 409th Contracting Support Brigade to discuss the path forward in supporting peace and stability throughout Europe.

The geographical area currently supported by the U.S. Army in Atlantic Resolve is vast, ranging from Germany to the Baltics and south to Romania. This spread creates unique logistical challenges, not only because of the distance covered, but also the varying types of assets supported.

From armored to infantry and, most recently, aviation assets, 16th Sustainment Brigade provides the much-needed logistical support to be successful throughout the eastern flank of Europe.

"We moved strategic hubs forward to effectively provide first-class support to the dynamic European theater," said Col. Michelle M.T. Letcher, 16th Sustainment Brigade commander.

"This forward presence has allowed us to integrate with our multinational NATO allies to increase the operational reach of rotational forces," she added.

Speer concluded his visit with a tour of Powidz Air Base, which has seen the Polish army making significant efforts in recent years to update and modernize the compound.

Being the largest air base in Poland, special emphasis was placed on the location's potential to hold aircraft. Leaders discussed Powidz's rail system and its capability to receive upgrades that could allow equipment for distribution throughout the European theater.

With Powidz's centralized location and immense potential, the U.S. Army looks to continue working with the Polish government to enhance its capabilities and, in doing so, improve our ability to train together and deter any aggression in the region.