ORZYSZ, Poland- The 2d Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment, U.S. Army transferred authority of Battle Group Poland to 3rd Squadron, 2CR during a ceremony Oct. 20, 2017 at the Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland.
In March of 2017, 2d Squadron deployed to Poland with soldiers from Romania and the United Kingdom as the first rotational U.S.--led Battle Group whose defense and deterrence mission is in support of NATO's enhanced Forward Presence initiative. The intent of the mission is to protect and reassure NATO's Eastern member countries of their security.
"The first rotation spanned 29 weeks, but there was much accomplished," said Lt. Col. Christopher L'Heureux, commander of 2d Squadron, 2CR and outgoing battle group commander. "I must thank the Polish Armed Forces for supporting this Battle Group in training. Together we demonstrated the capability and resolve to accomplish any task and defeat any adversary."
The Romanian, British and U.S. soldiers conducted 15 national and multinational training exercises including Saber Strike 17 and Dragon 17. The exercises showcased freedom of movement, speed of assembly and the capacity to conduct combat operations. They also executed over 74 community engagements across the region and hosted 18 senior national delegations to build civil and military relationships.
"The team developed leaders that gained deep knowledge of interoperability through direct practice," said L'Heureux. "Throughout, the soldiers of this battle group acted with unity of purpose to deter and if necessary fight and defend NATO in Poland."
The Warsaw Summit in 2016 resulted in an action to have physical presence of four battle groups along the Eastern Baltic Region to deter current and potential adversaries and if necessary, defend the alliance. Aside from the U.S.-led Battle Group in Poland, there is German-led Battle Group Lithuania, Canadian-led Battle Group Latvia and United Kingdom-led Battle Group Estonia.
Guest speaker, Tomasz Szatkowski, an Undersecretary of State in the Polish Ministry of National Defense, thanked the outgoing commander L'Heureux and his predecessor Lt. Col. Steven Gventer along with all of the soldiers within the Battle Group Poland for their service. He also welcomed incoming battle group commander, Lt. Col. Scott Cheney, and the new formation of soldiers.
"Your presence here and contribution to eFP shows that solidarity between allies is not an empty word and connected to Article 5 of the Warsaw Treaty was well reflected in its reality," Szathowski said. "It is stressed that this is the case of organization that contributed to the eFP. We are grateful for the United States of America to provide the framework for the eFP but also to Britain, Romania and this is a great honor to warmly welcome the first rotation of Croatian troops that join us for the second rotation."
The second rotation will build upon the achievements of the first. During their six month deployment, they will continue to train within the battle group and take part in U.S. Army Europe large scale multinational tactical training exercises.
The soldiers will also participate in social events and community engagements to expand their cultural understanding of the host nation, Poland and Allied nations.
"I am honored and humbled to be here and more importantly I am extremely humbled to be the commander for such a capable and amazing unit," said Cheney. "The fact that we are all here together as a multinational battle group highlights our unity as an alliance. It is a core of our strength. Together we stand ready and committed to the security of Poland."