DRAWSKO POMORSKIE, Poland — The 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, operationally aligned with 1st Infantry Division, hosted an Abrams Logistical Summit for soldiers from the Polish Land Forces, Oct. 26 to 27, 2022.
The Abrams Logistical Summit, or ALS, introduced Polish Land Forces’ leaders to U.S. Army systems and procedures that support successful M1A2 Abrams main battle tank operations at the company and battalion level. Participating Polish soldiers learned sustainment and logistical support operations for the Abrams.
“The ALS is part two of the Abrams program we started back in early May 2022, which started as a program to show the capabilities and some of the limitations of the Abrams through a live fire exercise and combined arms breach,” said Maj. Robert. C. Churchill, the operations officer assigned to 1st Battalion, 68th Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. “What we are doing here at the Abrams Logistics Summit is discussing how to sustain an Abrams formation, its capabilities, limitations and everything logistics.”
On the first day of the ALS, soldiers of 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment briefed Polish soldiers on the Abrams systems and answered questions on general maintenance and operations. Polish soldiers were able to use the Abrams alongside U.S. soldiers to get hands on guidance.
“There are a lot of interests and opportunities to share with our allies on how we work and operate the Abrams,” said Maj. Gretchen Gaskins, the Iron Brigade support operations officer, assigned to the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. “The more opportunities our Polish partners get to work with the Abrams, the more they get to find out its quirks and personality.”
Day two of the ALS consisted of classroom instruction in which Polish soldiers learned about officer and noncommission officer development, crew management, training management, operational facilities and maintenance.
“The purpose of this course wasn't to teach you [Polish] how we [U.S.] do it, but to get you thinking about how to support your newly integrated weapon system,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Simmering, 1st Infantry Division deputy commanding general of operations.
Day two ended with a live demonstration of how an Abrams tank platoon conducts tank vehicle recovery, a dedicated vehicle recovery and the removal of an Abrams tank power pack. During the tank vehicle recovery, soldiers hooked tow cables from one tank to another tank for towing. The second demonstration was a dedicated vehicle recovery. An M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System (HERCULES) towed a tank using a vehicle tow bar attached by Abrams crew members.
For the last demonstration, soldiers utilized an M88A2 HERCULES to conduct a power pack removal of an Abrams. Soldiers removed the Abrams back deck, using the HERCULES, exposing the power pack. The crowd was allowed to come forward and examine the method used in each demonstration. The sharing of the mechanical and technical operations of the Abrams and HERCULES with our Polish Allies increases interoperability.
In support of Poland's purchase of M1A2 SEPv3 Main Battle Tanks, the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division continues to work shoulder-to-shoulder with our Polish allies through the Abrams partnership program to build the capabilities, tactics, sustainment and master gunner skills in the Polish military.
This program complements the Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems-led Tank Training Academy, which enables U.S. and Polish forces to increase interoperability in support of shared security objectives. The tank training academy, conducted in Poland, began in late July.
These efforts enable the Polish Land Forces to build operational capability as quickly as possible upon receipt of the tanks purchased through the Foreign Military Sales program.
“Well, it’s all about building the partnership in regards to the NATO allies,” said Churchill. “Doing this builds our allies and ensures our enduring partnership in Poland will continue and only get stronger.”