1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division tanks, mobile artillery, trucks, and other equipment from Fort Hood, Texas began offloading Nov. 13, 2020 from the first of two vessels to arrive at the Port of Antwerp.
The more than 2,100 vehicles and pieces of equipment left the Port of Beaumont, Texas in late October. After off-load operations at the port are complete, the brigade’s equipment will move to locations across Europe via line-haul, river barge and train where it will be received by the brigade’s Soldiers who began arriving into military and commercial airports in Belgium, Germany, Poland and Romania two weeks ago.
"This port operation really demonstrates what the team can accomplish, while doing everything we can to mitigate the spread of COVID. We've brought two vessels in to one of the busiest ports in Europe and are successfully discharging 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division's equipment rapidly and safely," said Lt. Col William Prince, Jr., Commander, 838th Transportation Bn, 598th Transportation BDE. "The 1/1 team, 21st TSC, MSC, our Belgian allies and our industry partners with the terminal and the carrier have done a great job. 1/1 will be ready to move forward safely and support Atlantic Resolve and that's our shared goal."
The deployment of equipment on this scale from the US to Europe tests the Army and joint force’s ability to quickly move, mass and employ the full capabilities of an armored brigade combat team.
Planning and coordinating the movement of this much equipment is a complex task that requires a ‘Team of Teams’ to make it happen. At the Antwerp port, this team includes the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, the 598th Transportation Brigade (Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command), and the 21st Theater Sustainment Command. In addition, the U.S. works closely with a range of civilian and industry partners to ensure the arrival and initial movement of equipment is accomplished efficiently and safely.
“Organizations such as U.S. Army Europe, 21st Theater Sustainment Command and the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command along with many others have worked diligently for months, hand-in-hand with our military and civilian partners to ensure this mission’s success,” said Maj. Gen. Christopher Mohan, commander 21st TSC.
The Belgium military also plays a vital role in the arrival and movement of the brigade’s equipment through the Port of Antwerp, providing security forces for the temporary military zone established at the port, along with logistics personnel to coordinate movement preparations.
Additionally while operating in the current COVID-19 environment, the health and safety of the communities where U.S. personnel will operate is also a top priority.
Soldiers arriving for Atlantic Resolve take many actions to reduce the risks associated with COVID-19. Before departing the U.S., Soldiers conduct pre-deployment Restriction of Movement and COVID testing. While travelling all Soldiers wear masks and follow strict hygiene measures. Once in Europe, Soldiers again quarantine and undergo COVID testing before travelling in the continent.
As the seventh armored rotation in support of Atlantic Resolve, 1/1CD will conduct bilateral, multinational training events with more than a dozen NATO allies and partner nations. These exercises build readiness, enhance interoperability and strengthen relationships between U.S. forces and our allies and partners across the theater.