ZAGAN- Poland - Soldiers from the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team “IRONHORSE,” 1st Cavalry Division Troopers and the Polish 11th Armored Cavalry Division participated in joint physical fitness and sports challenge event April 27.
“I worked with the Polish sports event coordinator here in Zagan to plan the events, coordinate all the necessary resources, set the U.S. and Polish teams as well as all parameters for the events,” said Staff Sgt. Cory White, Better Opportunity for Single and Unaccompanied Soldiers Zagan President.
Events included 4x 400 meter relays, volleyball, weightlifting competitions, and a warrior fitness challenge.
“It’s like anything we do in the Army, they put their best out, we put our best out and we just go at it. It’s all fun and through that we’re able to continue building on our partnership and camaraderie,” said 1st Lt. Nicholas Maio, Executive Officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st ABCT. “Obviously, we want to win but expanding our relationships off the battlefield and away from training, is crucial in continuing to develop our partnership here in Poland,” Maio added.
The events, designed to build camaraderie, test fitness and strengthen the partnership between the U.S. and Polish Army truly tested each participant.
“I ran a good time but at the end I was exhausted,” said Lt. Marta Wieliczko, 11th Armored Cavalry Division – Poland, Public Affairs Officer. “It was a great competition, I think everyone was tired afterwards though. The cooperation between our two nations, the ability to make friends with our American partners and spend some time with each other is truly special,” Wieliczko added.
Although, the competition was friendly, IRONHORSE Troopers were eager to display their physical fitness.
“Each event is uniquely different. We planned a variety of events to highlight the different strengths and weakness between our nations,” said White. “So our [U.S.] strengths are volleyball and lifting, theirs [Polish] is definitely running,” White added.
Events such as this are used to increase international cooperation and interoperability. Troopers and Soldiers representing both nations took advantage of the opportunity for cultural exchange.