BEMOWO PISKIE, Poland – NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Poland held a transfer of authority ceremony from Cal Guard’s 1st Battalion, 185th Infantry Regiment, to the incoming 1st Cavalry Division, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment Oct. 4.
The “Hand Over, Take Over” ceremony celebrated the accomplishments and achievements of the outgoing 1-185th IR while preparing for the incoming 3-8 CAV. The ceremony enforces NATO and the multinational military presence in Northeastern Europe.
Military service members from over 20 allied nations serve, train and exercise together, representing a strong expression of the NATO alliance in interoperability and solidarity.
“The American Soldiers I brought with me are an extension of the United States Army,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Trevor M. Phillips, a Cal Guard Soldier who commanded Battlegroup Poland during the 1-185th deployment. “We proudly accepted our roles and set out to secure our sector, remained a multinational task force prepared to avert conflicts and did not deter from our perspective to continue to support NATO’s overall message, which is the perseverance of peace.”
The United States is providing Soldiers from the 3-8 CAV in Poland to reinforce the framework of nations for NATO’s eFP. Their mission is to train with other nations to demonstrate the alliance’s determination and ability to act as one in response to any aggression against its members.
“We are ready to stand side-by-side with our combat-ready NATO allies,” said Lt. Col. Sean M. Castilla, incoming commander of Battlegroup Poland, commander of 3-8 CAV (Warhorse Team). “We are ever mindful of the gravity of our mission here and its importance to NATO and the defense of our allies.”
Soldiers in Battlegroup Poland enhance interoperability, build combat readiness and forge bonds with each other through training and exercises. The United States is prepared, equipped and committed to the NATO alliance and its allies. When called, Soldiers in the battle group would ensure the collective defense of Poland.
“It is critical that not just the United States, but all NATO countries continue to work and train side-by-side with each other to maintain stability and increase lethality against future threats,” said Phillips.
The battlegroup includes Soldiers from 3-8 CAV and Croatia, Romania and the United Kingdom who contribute to and strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense posture in northeast Poland.
“No nation can confront today’s challenges alone. Our presence, as leaders and subordinates of the battlegroup, ensured our commitment to security not just to Poland, but throughout Europe,” said Phillips.
The ceremony brought together multiple dignitaries and key leaders from the U.S. Army and NATO chains of command.
“Over the next few months, we will train closely with one another and build common purpose, shared understanding and kinship with our brothers and sisters in arms here,” said Castilla.
The ceremony ended with a pass-in review involving Soldiers from all contingents of Battlegroup Poland as they marched under a large NATO banner.
“The Warhorse Battalion is of a proud lineage, and I cannot think of a better opportunity to write the next chapter in our history than to do so with our NATO allies, demonstrating the strength of the trans-Atlantic bond,” said Castilla.
Castilla concluded the ceremony by addressing the attendees and the combined NATO forces standing in formation.
“We intend to put our country’s ironclad commitment to our NATO allies on display as we train together,” said Castilla. “We are truly stronger together.”