"The Brigade's deployment, movement and training across Europe demonstrates our commitment to NATO Allies and partners, and sends a powerful message to potential adversaries of our resolve to preserve security and stability in the region," said Col. David W. Gardner, commander, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
Approximately 1,000 pieces of the brigade's equipment traveled by sea to a port in Gdansk, Poland 13 Sept. The equipment was then transported to intermediate staging bases where the Brigade began its preparations.
Maj. Matthew Schardt, squadron operations officer, 5th squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, was impressed by the progress they made in a short amount of time.
"I've never been part of an armored brigade combat team that got all their equipment from a port hundreds of miles away, and then assembled it in 10 days; it's definitely a step above, in my opinion," said Schardt. "In Iraq or Afghanistan, typically you fall in on equipment that's already in country, so this has added a new challenge, at least to me personally."
There are many complexities involved with deploying the entire brigade to an overseas location. It has approximately 3,300 personnel and 1,500 vehicles deploying to multiple locations in five countries.
"There's a lot of synchronization and coordination based on when it arrives and how it arrives," said Schardt. "You have to match equipment, personnel and resources, just to ensure that those three variables are aligned in order to execute the training or the action that we're trying to accomplish."
Schardt said the first step was receiving people and equipment. After that, they transitioned to preparing their weapon systems, logistical networks and communication capabilities to achieve mission readiness.
The Battalion's Soldiers were at a small arms range most recently firing their individual weapons, and testing the firing systems on their combat platforms, such as the M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the M1A2 Abrams Battle Tank in Trzebien. Poland.
"These testing processes and maintenance procedures ensure that the equipment is ready, safe and functioning for our follow-on training," said Schardt.
Schardt said the training they conducted at Fort Riley and at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California this year, and the moving of equipment from Fort Riley to Beaumont, Texas, all contributed to the Brigade's ability to quickly marshal its personnel and equipment in Poland.
"The things that prepared the squadron to do well at home station, we're still doing," said Schardt. "We're focusing on fundamentals, demonstrating the readiness and the training that we put in at home station."
Schardt said, "In many ways we're showing our Allies and partners that we're ready, we're trained, and we're putting that into daily practice here."
The Brigade's senior commander also sees the preparations for mission readiness as pointing to a larger goal of the brigade.
"By sustaining and demonstrating our readiness in our deployment, warfighting functions, tasks and drills, we will achieve our objectives of assuring our NATO Allies and partners of our tangible commitment, and also deter aggression in region," said Gardner.