ESBJERG, Denmark — Aircraft and equipment from the 1st Armored Division, Combat Aviation Brigade arrived at the port in Esbjerg, Denmark, August 22, 2022, as the unit began its deployment in support of Atlantic Resolve.
Approximately 40 aircraft and more than 1,700 equipment items are staging at the port facility and preparing for onward movement to locations throughout the European theater. The equipment transited to the port aboard the commercial cargo vessel, ARC Endurance during its journey across the Atlantic.
"The reception and staging of 1AD CAB here at the Esbjerg port is underway and proceeding very smoothly," said Lt. Col. J.D. Tillman, 838th Transportation Battalion commander. "This is the third highly successful port operation we've executed at Esbjerg in the prior fourteen months. During that time, we've built an absolutely great relationship with our Danish allies. In fact, the current 1AD CAB mission is the first time in history we've brought an aviation unit through the port. This mission shows that we can now bring armored, aviation and sustainment units into Esbjerg and do it safely and effectively."
In addition to Esbjerg, 1 AD CAB equipment is also deploying into Europe through the port located in Alexandroupoli, Greece. The CAB’s aircraft represent a mix of aircraft, including CH-47 Chinooks, AH-64 Apaches, UH-60 and HH-60 Black Hawks.
"Working alongside the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command and our allies, we're simultaneously supporting the 1AD CAB's movement via two, strategically located ports — in Esbjerg and Alexandroupoli," said Col. Robert L. Kellam, 598th Transportation Brigade commander. "Even though these ports are more than 1,700 miles apart, our 598th team is operating at both facilities and coordinating the seamless arrival of the equipment while setting the right conditions for its onward movement. It's just one more demonstration of the many options the U.S. Army now has for deploying equipment into the European theater."
After training for many months, the 1AD CAB’s soldiers are eager to begin their Atlantic Resolve deployment.
“The Iron Eagle’s long-awaited return to Europe has arrived, and this marks a pivotal moment in our brigade’s history,” said Lt. Col. Justin Mullins, commander of the 127th Aviation Support Battalion, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division. “Our rotation to Europe has now kicked off at Esbjerg and at Alexandroupoli, and in the coming weeks, the Iron Eagles will build momentum as we disperse to forward outstations across Europe. Our operations here set conditions for our brigade to bolster readiness, enhance tactical proficiency, and strengthen interoperability. We are, and always remain, stronger together.”
Bringing aircraft and equipment on this scale into the ports is actually just the start of the reception, staging and onward movement mission. The 21st TSC has responsibility for getting the CAB’s aircraft and gear to follow-on locations all across the theater.
“635th Movement Control Team is the primary element to provide movement controls to enable the combat power capabilities for 1AD CAB in support of Atlantic Resolve,” said Capt. Jong (Ryan) Lee, 635th Movement Control Team commander. “We provide transit visibility and making sure we are providing accurate tracking of combat power capabilities to commanders so they can create strategic level planning to place their combat power.”
Both U.S. and Danish armed forces personnel supporting the port operation highlighted the strong partnership between the two NATO allies.
“The Danish and U.S. forces here have established a track-record of working very well together,” said Lt. Col. Tobias Tesch, Danish Home Guard District (South) and Southern Jutland commander. “We’ve done three port operations together now and it’s been a great example of allied cooperation between us. The U.S. soldiers are able to understand how we work and the range of support the Danish can provide, and we gain good insight into what it takes to move Army equipment like this through the port. Both the Home Guard as well as all other civilian entities are looking forward to our cooperation for years to come”
Since April 2014, U.S. Army Europe and Africa has led the Department of Defense's Atlantic Resolve land efforts. Atlantic Resolve provides rotational deployments of combat-credible forces to Europe to show our commitment to NATO while building readiness, increasing interoperability and enhancing the bonds between ally and partner militaries.
As of Nov. 2021, the newly reactivated V Corps has assumed command and control of all Atlantic Resolve rotational forces.
For more information about Atlantic Resolve, please visit the U.S. Army Europe and Africa website.