American Troops Arrive in Poland
As of January 2017, the transfer of Allied troops to Poland began in earnest. This process is the result of a decision announced during the NATO Summit in Warsaw last July and is now being initiated by the arrival of an American Armored Brigade Combat Team.
A column of American ABCT vehicles, headed by Colonel Christopher R. Norrie crossed the German-Polish border in the town of Olszyna. General Mika was there to greet the ABCT, as the Commander of 11th Lubuska Armoured Cavalry Division (11LDKPanc), where units in the towns of Żagań, Bolesławiec, and Świętoszowa will be hosting the American soldiers.
A symbolic exchange of a German flag for a Polish flag took place at the border crossing and mounted on the American commander’s vehicle. It was a symbolic gesture, indicating that American soldiers have arrived on their mission to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank.
“Ahead of us are joint exercises and improvement of skills, which will be used when necessary. The more joint exercises undertaken, the more we can do together and rely on each other to perform the most difficult tasks. I am convinced that a joint effort on the training grounds will reinforce our military potential, improve procedures, but above all, will strengthen the military ties that represent the strength of each army,” said the Commander of the Black Division, MajGen Jarosław Mika.
After the greeting at the border crossing, the next point on the agenda was a military ceremony welcoming the newly arrived U.S. troops. The ceremony was attended by the Representative Company from the 34th Armored Cavalry Brigade and the U.S. contingent, which will be stationed in Żagań.
“Today's ceremony is a great celebration of the friendship between Polish and American troops, so on behalf of the soldiers of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team (3ABCT) and the 4th Infantry Division (4th ID), I would like to express my ‘thanks’ for such a warm welcome. I am particularly grateful so far for the care and help extended to our troops, and for the next few months of joint training. Our friendship will only grow in strength,” said the Commander of the ABCT, Colonel Christopher R. Norrie.
More information on the presence of Allied forces in Poland (Polish language).
Text: Maj. Artur Pinkowski
Photos: Priv. Natalia Wawrzyniak