U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the “Spartan Brigade,” 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, deployed to Europe from Truscott Air Terminal, Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, Sept. 16, 2023. The nine-month rotation is part of the NATO mission to assure allies, increase interoperability, and deter adversaries in Europe.
In Europe, the 2nd ABCT will qualify on ranges with their assigned weapons systems and armored equipment to participate in joint exercises with partner forces. The Spartan Brigade will focus on building readiness and enhancing the relationship with ally and partner militaries.
“While we're in Europe, we will build our credibility with allied forces, and return to Fort Stewart as an incredible force”, said Command Sgt. Maj. Jason S. Mikan, senior enlisted advisor of 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID.
Over the past year, the Spartan Brigade has completed the Regionally Aligned Readiness and Modernization Model (ReARMM). ReARMM is a three-phase process that includes modernization, training, and mission, with each phase lasting 8 months.
“As the most modernized brigade in the Army, our brigade is ready to deploy when called upon”, said Col. Ethan J. Diven, commander of the 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID. “We have completed modernization with new tanks, Bradleys, Paladins, engineer equipment, and joint light tactical vehicles. We’re going to go demonstrate the lethality, the improved readiness, and the warfighting capability of dogface soldiers.”
During the modernization phase, the Spartan Brigade received the M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tank, the M2A4 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, M109A7 Paladin Howitzer, the M992A3 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle, the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, and the Joint Assault Bridge.
In February and March, the Spartan Brigade validated their war fighting capabilities at the National Training Center (NTC). Shortly after returning to Fort Stewart, the brigade executed a series of live-fire events.
“There’s been no better trained, no more prepared, no better lead organization than the Spartan Brigade, in our opinion,” said Devin. “Now it's our turn to go forward.”
Devin credits the XVIII Airborne Corps and the Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) program for preparing his Soldiers physically and mentally for this deployment.
“Prior to deploying, we conducted a series of town halls so our soldiers know how their families will be taken care of back at Fort Stewart”, said Mikan. “This allows the soldier to focus on the mission in Europe.”
When asked what excites him the most about this deployment, Devin said, “We're getting to validate the systems, the processes and what it means to be in the XVIII Airborne Corps. Shared hardship and building readiness through war fighting, always increases the bonds between friends, allies, and partners. That's what Operation Atlantic Resolve and Partnership for Peace and NATO is all about. That's what the Spartan Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division and V Corps is all about.”