GDANSK, Poland — Logisticians and transporters from the 598th Transportation Brigade, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command and the 21st Theater Sustainment Command began offloading more than a thousand pieces of equipment at the port in Gdansk, Poland, July 5, 2021. The equipment belongs to 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division who are deploying from Fort Riley, Kansas, during July 2021 in support of Atlantic Resolve.
"The port operation here in Gdansk is going extremely well,” said Lt. Col. J.D. Tillman, the commander of 838th Transportation Battalion, 598th SDDC. “We're working closely with the 1-1 team, along with the 21st TSC and our commercial partners at the port to bring the ABCT's equipment in safely and efficiently. This is one of the largest missions we've conducted here and we're demonstrating just how capable the Gdansk port facility truly is."
The 1st ABCT, 1st Infantry Division will replace 1st ABCT, 1st Cavalry Division, and will conduct multinational training in support of Atlantic Resolve.
“The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team is honored to deploy in support of Atlantic Resolve as a Regionally Allocated Force in Europe,” said Col. Brian E. McCarthy, commander of 1st ABCT. “It is a great privilege to aid in the preservation of peace by showcasing our Army's ability to project readiness across the globe. The opportunity to participate in combined and joint exercises with our European partners and NATO allies in an effort to further interoperability is something every one of our soldiers is looking forward to.”
The 1st ABCT is deploying with approximately 3,800 Soldiers, 80 tanks, 120 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 10 Bradley (Variant) Fire Support Team vehicles, 15 Paladins, 500 tracked vehicles, 850 trailers, and 1500 wheeled vehicles and other pieces of equipment.
“The port operations here in Gdansk is the first arrival of our brigade’s equipment into the European theater,” said Lt. Col. Rick Montcalm, the squadron commander of 1st Squadron, 4th Calvary Regiment, 1st ABCT. “We will download at the end of today over 1000 pieces of combat equipment prepared for onward movement to our various forward operating stations. Port Operations like any new operation has presented unique challenges but also unique opportunities both for the organization and the individuals involved in downloading the vessel.”
The unit previously deployed in support of Atlantic Resolve for nine months in January 2019. For the upcoming rotation, they will join 1 ID’s Combat Aviation Brigade, and a 1 ID mission command element at Division Forward, as a cornerstone of the rotational forces in support of Atlantic Resolve.
For the 598th SDDC and 21st TSC this provides an opportunity to showcase the team’s increasing capabilities to bring equipment into the port of Gdansk. Moreover, the vessel discharge and onward movement operations in support of this Atlantic Resolve iteration reflect the Army's ability to use strategically located seaports throughout Europe and transport equipment rapidly across the theater.
In addition to the operation in Gdansk, 1st ABCT, 1ID equipment will arrive at ports in Gdynia, Poland; Klaipeda, Lithuania and Alexandroupoli, Greece. Diversifying the number and location of ports able to support the movement of Army forces provides additional maneuver options for regional commanders and enhances critical logistics and transportation relationships with allies and the commercial industry
"This Atlantic Resolve rotation is coming into four different ports across Europe - nearly simultaneously,” said Tillman. “It's challenging, but it shows the strategic transportation capability we have at the ports and the range of port facilities we're now able to work at."
After receiving the equipment off the vessel, the 16th Sustainment Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command is responsible for its onward movement. This insures the right pieces of equipment to the right forward locations.
“As part of 16th Sustainment Brigade, our mission here is to provide in-transit visibility for 1st ABCT as they offload their equipment from the vessel and as we stage it for its onward movement to its final destination,” said Capt. Morgan Keffer, 571st Movement Control Team, 53rd Movement Control Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade. “We first started with the vessel, Endurance, and we unloaded quite a bit of cargo from there. We had a few friction points in the beginning but once we got into the rhythm of things over the next 23 hours we were able to unload that vessel. With Liberty Peace my team has been rocking and rolling and getting all the pieces off the vessel smoothly.”
The equipment will move by rail and commercial line haul to their final destinations throughout Poland.