NOWA DEBA TRAINING AREA, Poland — U.S. Soldiers assigned to the "Thunderbolts" — 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division — supporting the 4th Infantry Division, participated in a live fire exercise during Anakonda 23 at Nowa Deba Training Area, Poland, May 6, 2023.
Anakonda 23 is Poland’s premier national exercise that strives to train, integrate and maintain tactical readiness and increase interoperability in a joint multinational environment, complimenting the 4th Infantry Division’s mission in Europe, which is to participate in multinational training and exercises across the continent while collaborating with NATO Allies and regional security partners to provide combat-credible forces to V Corps, America’s Forward deployed corps in Europe.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Michael B. Kim, commander of 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment says Anakonda 23 represents unity.
“It’s our ability to test interoperability as we are training with Romania, Poland and Slovenia,” said Kim. “It was an honor to serve with our NATO allies and this is why we do these kinds of exercises, to stand united with our partners.”
“After two weeks of training shoulder to shoulder with our allies, we can say together we are stronger,” said Romanian Lt. Col. Marius Butila, commander of the 151st Multinational Battle Group. “We showed our capabilities during this live training exercise and are able to put training into action.”
Throughout the exercise, Soldiers from 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division maneuvered and fired M1A2 Abrams tanks alongside their allies in a demonstration of firepower as Polish F-16 Fighting Falcons flew overhead and artillery dropped in the distance.
This training exercise offered Soldiers a unique opportunity to showcase their capabilities and capacity for integration among participating nations.
All four countries put artillery vehicles on display and fired rounds, including the Romanian Piranha V Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Polish BWP-1 tank and a Slovenian Cougar 4x4 MRAP.
“We succeeded in communicating with one another, we succeeded in proving that our procedures work within a multinational environment,” said Romanian Lt. Col. Marius Butila, commander of the 151st Multinational Battle Group. “Today we were able to validate our common training and multinational battle group.”
In addition to live fire, the U.S. Army was able to assist in ground operations and other scenarios. The focus was on joint actions to include concepts based on shared resources and capabilities.
Anakonda 23 is a Polish-led exercise with troops from the United States, Romania and Slovenia. This exercise helped ensure and improve interoperability between these NATO allies while training on a variety of scenarios.
Spc. Dylan Morse, an M1 crewman and gunner assigned to Brutal Company, 2-70 AR, says the exercise fulfilled a life-long goal.
“I have always wanted to be able to see other countries and train with them and see what they are capable of,” said Morse. “It’s a good way to bring us together and truly show how we work together.”