Polish tank commander reflects on Allied Spirit 22 experience
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Leopard 2 A4 tank from the 1st Tank Battalion, 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade (Polish), pushes to a staging point at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center's Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Jan. 29, 2022. The tank battalion is part of Allied Spirit 22, an exercise that comprises more than 5,000 soldiers from 15 nations and is designed to enable integration of the U.S. military and its allies in a competitive combat training environment. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Capt. Alun Thomas) VIEW ORIGINAL
Polish tank commander reflects on Allied Spirit 22 experience
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Polish Army officer 1st Lt. Jakub Szulczyk (second left), company commander, 1st Tank Battalion, 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, laughs with his soldiers as they await orders to proceed with a mission as part of Allied Spirit 22, at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center's Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Jan. 29, 2022. The exercise comprises more than 5,000 soldiers from 15 nations and is designed to enable integration of the U.S. military and its allies in a competitive combat training environment. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Capt. Alun Thomas) VIEW ORIGINAL

HOHENFELS, Germany – Training in the cold, bitter Bavarian winter is something Polish Army officer 1st Lt. Jakub Szulczyk relishes – there’s nowhere else he’d rather be.

As a company commander in 1st Tank Battalion, 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, Szulczyk has been participating in Allied Spirit 22, a U.S. Army Europe and Africa directed, 7th Army Training Command conducted training exercise that is designed to develop and enhance NATO and key partner interoperability and readiness across specified warfighting functions.

This is Szulczyk’s first experience as a tank commander at Allied Spirit and one he is focusing on intently.

“Right now we are trying to align our tanks with the German Army, doing maintenance and waiting for an attack,” Szulcyzk said. “We are focused on keeping our tanks aiming straight at the enemy in these scenarios.”

Allied Spirit is the perfect environment to create interoperability with the other NATO allies in the exercise and is the battalion's main purpose for being here, he said.

“Interacting with the other countries is profitable for my Soldiers because we have to use English as our primary language and also the tactical scenarios with the Germans,” Szulcyzk continued. “We are checking our interoperability with the other nation’s armies and using the same language to do it.”

“We are training and fighting arm in arm with our NATO brothers,” he added.

Szulcyzk said he is already excited to participate in the next Allied Spirit exercise.

Polish tank commander reflects on Allied Spirit 22 experience
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Polish soldiers from 1st Tank Battalion, 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, await orders for their next mission at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center's Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Jan. 29, 2022. The tank battalion is part of Allied Spirit 22, an exercise that comprises more than 5,000 soldiers from 15 nations and is designed to enable integration of the U.S. military and its allies in a competitive combat training environment. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Capt. Alun Thomas) VIEW ORIGINAL
Polish tank commander reflects on Allied Spirit 22 experience
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Leopard 2 A4 tank from 1st Tank Battalion, 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade (Polish), pushes to a staging point at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center's Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Jan. 29, 2022. The tank battalion is part of Allied Spirit 22, an exercise that comprises more than 5,000 soldiers from 15 nations and is designed to enable integration of the U.S. military and its allies in a competitive combat training environment. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Capt. Alun Thomas) VIEW ORIGINAL

“This is one of the best exercises I’ve been in during my 12 years of service … the battle simulations are also the most realistic I’ve seen,” Szulcyzk said. “The cold weather and the terrain have been extremely challenging.”

Being a commander in this environment is also challenging, but one Szulcyzk has taken full advantage of.

“This is the greatest opportunity I’ve had as a commander so far, being in charge of movement and radio frequencies, but also to have the overall picture of what we’re providing to the battalion,” he noted. “I love doing this and have been waiting for this since I was a private.”

To view more Allied Spirit products, visit: https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/AlliedSpirit

Follow U.S. Army Europe and Africa on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/USArmyEURAF

Follow 7th Army Training Command on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/7thATC