BEMOWO PISKIE, Poland - Less than a week after the Battle Group Poland conducted its transfer of authority, the new troops on ground came together to participate in a two-day sports competition in celebration of Romanian Armed Forces Day. The Croatian, Romanian, British, Polish and American Army each provided teams to compete in a multitude of sports, Oct. 24 - 25, 2017.

In Romania, Oct. 25th is designated as Armed Forces Day. On this day in 1944, Romania secured complete liberation of northwestern Transylvania from foreign rule. Typically, in Romania, ceremonies are hosted in public places for civilians to attend. 1st Lt. Meiu Florin, the Romanian Army Ground Base Air Defense Black Bats liaison officer, was the lead coordinator for the celebration at the battle group.

"I thought it would be interesting to celebrate Romanian Armed Forces Day in a unique way," said Florin. "Also, I thought that this competition would allow us to get to know each other better, especially as we begin our rotation together. As Lt. Col. Cheney said, 'we must be united as a battle group.'"

Soldiers gathered at the newly renovated Battle Group Sports Arena the morning of Oct. 24th in order to kick off the celebration with a mini-soccer tournament, a few rounds of tug-of-war and a 3-man basketball competition. The following day, soldiers gathered to participate in the foot-tennis competition, the 50-meter sprint and a cross-country run.

After all sporting events had concluded an awards ceremony was hosted at the Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Oct. 25, 2017. Lt. Col. Scott Cheney, Battle Group Poland Commander, presented trophies to the winning teams and all participants received a medal of appreciation. Overall, the American soldiers placed third, the Romanian soldiers placed second and the Polish soldiers placed first.

The winners in each individual category were as follows:
Mini-Soccer - 1st Place: Croatia; 2nd Place: Romania; 3rd Place: United Kingdom
Tug-of-War - 1st Place: Poland; 2nd Place: Romania; 3rd Place: United States
Basketball - 1st Place: United States; 2nd Place: United States; 3rd Place: Poland
50m Sprint - 1st Place: United Kingdom; 2nd Place: United Kingdom; 3rd Place: United States
Foot-Tennis - 1st Place: Romania; 2nd Place: Romania; 3rd Place: Poland
Cross Country - 1st Place: Poland; 2nd Place: Croatia; 3rd Place: Poland