U.S. Soldiers Prepare for Training With NATO Partners in Estonia
TRZBIEN, Poland --
In a little less than a day and a half the soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division’s Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 68th Armored Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, completed a logistical feat; they loaded a company’s worth of fighting vehicles onto railcars in Poland to be shipped to Estonia.
Loading the vehicles was expected to take two days, officials said.
“It’s pretty amazing,” said Army Capt. Edward Bachar, Charlie Company’s commander. “Over the last day and a half, we have uploaded nearly 80 pieces of equipment onto rail cars and all of our primary combat platforms [were] moved onto the cars by their own power.”
This feat was managed due to the diligence of the soldiers in making sure their vehicles were in good working order when they arrived in Poland earlier this month.
“After the vehicles arrived in Poland we made sure they were fully operational,” Bachar said. Once the vehicles were operational, the soldiers began firing their weapons systems to make sure that the crews and vehicles were ready to train.
Both the vehicles and the soldiers are expected to arrive in Estonia on Feb. 3 and immediately start training with their NATO partners.
“We are going to begin our expert marksmanship training the week of Feb. 6,” Bachar said.
Operation Atlantic Resolve
The movement of equipment and troops into and around Europe marks the beginning of a continuous rotation of armored brigade combat teams from the United States as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of continued U.S. commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America's dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region in light of the Russian intervention in the Ukraine.
The Estonia rotation is one of several operations over the next few weeks involving units from the 4th Infantry Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team to spread out from Poland to seven other countries in central and Eastern Europe as part of a persistent U.S. armored presence in the region.
Over the next few weeks, other combined-arms units in the brigade combat team will begin moving into Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.
The movement of Charlie Company to Estonia is a prime example of how the 3rd Brigade is exhibiting its ability to move freely from one NATO country to another, an effort made in part to show how the brigade combat team could respond quickly if called to support an allied nation.
In November, the brigade combat team loaded about 2,800 pieces of equipment onto railcars in Colorado, and shipped them to Beaumont, Texas, where they were placed on cargo ships bound for the port of Bremerhaven, Germany. The ships arrived in Germany in early January and were loaded onto railcars and transported to Poland.
The Silver Lions’ move to Estonia will enhance deterrence capabilities in the region and improve the U.S. ability to respond to potential crisis and defend its allies and partners within the European community.