Troops and equipment from 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, out of Fort Riley, Kansas, began rotating in to replace 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, which has been in Europe for nine months in support of Atlantic Resolve.
This is the first replacement of troops as part of continuing "heel-to-toe" rotations to maintain a U.S. armored brigade in Europe. This is the first time tanks have arrived directly to Poland by sea. In the past the equipment has been shipped from the U.S. to Germany or other ports and taken by rail or truck to various staging areas.
"We chose Gdansk, because of the location inside of Poland, but also, because we'd like to use a variety of ports," said Maj. Gen. Steven Shapiro, commanding general, 21st Theater Sustainment Command. "So when the next brigade comes in, maybe a different port. Maybe Gdynia, maybe other ports in Northern Europe. And then we want to be able to use Gdansk for inbound and outbound cargo."
Shapiro added that using this port helps test the Army's capacity, the capacity of the port, and to make sure that the Army knows how to operate inside of Poland.
Polish leadership also observed the unloading and staging of the equipment.
"This is a privilege for us and an honor that you are here," said Gen. Division Jaroslaw Mika, commander-in-chief of the Polish armed forces.
The tracked and wheeled vehicles, include 87 M1 Abrams tanks, 103 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 18 Paladin self-propelled Howitzers, and other trucks and equipment.