ZAGAN, Poland - The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division transferred authority of U.S. Army operations in support of Atlantic Resolve to the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division during a transfer of authority ceremony at Zagan, Poland, June 23, 2022.
Over the past 11 months, 1ABCT participated in multi-national training exercises across Europe while supporting 21 nations in support of Atlantic Resolve and Defender Europe, as well as supporting the 78th anniversary of the D-Day liberation of France in June.
"For many this was their first time overseas or outside of the United States," said U.S. Army Col. Brian E. McCarthy, commander of 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. "Not only have they executed their missions brilliantly, every one of us has learned from our allies here. European armies get to train in many of the types of environments in which we all might be asked to fight and we have been sponges trying to soak up their expertise in these conditions."
This ceremony marked the end of deployment for 1ABCT Soldiers out of Fort Riley, Kansas, and the beginning of 3ABCT's rotation.
"The number one priority for this deployment is our people," said U.S. Army Col. Stephen Capehart, commander of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. "To ensure that we've made a cohesive team and that we take care of each other. The second priority is to maintain readiness and to have lethal infantry, armor, fire, and sustainment platoons that are ready to win at the point of contact. The third is to strengthen interoperability with our NATO allies."
U.S. NATO allies and partner nations are necessary for operations like Atlantic Resolve and Defender Europe to succeed.
"Interoperability is key because we're never gonna fight alone," said Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Chaney, senior enlisted adviser of 3ABCT, 4ID. "So no matter what NATO element we have on our side, we need to be able to work together to defeat the enemy."
Despite being extended near the end of their original rotation, the 1ABCT Soldiers could work together as a cohesive team and complete their mission.
"The Devil Brigade is America's first brigade and its history has been intertwined with that of Europe for the last 105 years," said McCarthy. "Command Sgt. Maj. Shaiko and I are incredibly proud of this generation of Devil Soldiers who have lived up to the legacy they inherited and are leaving the uniform in a better place than they found it!"