DRAWSKO POMORSKIE TRAINING AREA, Poland – Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division hosted the first Abrams Operations Summit with soldiers from across the Polish Land Forces from April 26 to 28, 2022.
The summit presented Polish Land Forces leaders to U.S. Army systems and procedures that support successful Abrams Operations at the company and battalion level. Participating Polish soldiers learned Abrams capabilities, tactics, sustainment operations and master gunner operations.
Day one consisted of classroom instruction, in which Polish soldiers learned about officer and noncommissioned officer development, crew management, training management, operational facilities and maintenance, ending with live demonstrations of how an Abrams tank platoon conducts actions on contact.
The following day started with sessions covering gunnery practical exercises, and panels on field maintenance and sustainment. Throughout the day, Polish service members were also given live demonstrations on range operations, recovery operations, service station resupply, and refueling while on the move.
The summit concluded with a leader panel on mobility operations and subject matter expert discussions on combined arms breaching operations. At the conclusion of the discussions, 2-34 AR provided a live-fire demonstration of a combined arms breach.
“We developed the Abrams Operations Summit in conjunction with the Polish Land Forces to be the first step in a series of events we’re going to do to introduce the Abrams tank platform to the Polish forces,” said U.S. Army Col. Geoffrey Norman, deputy commanding officer for support of the 1st Infantry Division and director of the summit. “The purpose of the summit was to introduce the Polish Land Forces to how the U.S. Army operates with the Abrams tank.”
“We’re thankful for the cooperation during the operations summit because this event helps us understand what the needs of this equipment are and how to implement that in our structures,” said Polish Land Forces 1st Lt. Kamil Gromadzinski, a company commander with the 1st Warsaw Brigade.
“The Abrams Summit represents an important step in familiarizing and subsequently integrating the Abrams tank into the Polish army,” said U.S. Army Lt. Gen. John S. Kolasheski, commanding general of V Corps. “This is a big deal. Fielding this combat vehicle will not only increase their lethality, it will improve our collective interoperability and combat capability while further enhancing the partnership we have with Polish Land Forces.”
This summer, Polish crews will begin formal training on the M1A2SEPV2 Abrams tank and the M88A2 HERCULES recovery vehicle to become certified on the incoming tanks, enhancing interoperability and deepening the U.S. commitment to its NATO Ally. While this training takes place, some Polish soldiers will continue to embed with U.S. Army units through the Abrams Apprentice Program where they will continue to learn master gunner and maintenance operations.
The Polish army purchased 250 M1A2SEPV3 Abrams tanks, along with the necessary maintenance equipment and training, to modernize their tank fleet. The sale, approved by U.S. Congress on February 2022, will see the first delivery of tanks in late 2024, with a number of M1A2SEPV2 tanks being provided early to be used for training.
The 1st Infantry Division is among other units assigned to V Corps, America’s forward deployed corps in Europe that works alongside NATO allies and regional security partners to provide combat-credible forces; execute joint, bilateral, and multinational training exercises; and provides command and control for rotational and assigned units in the European theater.