Russia began large military exercises on its western border, the U.S. Army was unloading tanks in Poland, the first time these military vehicles have arrived directly by sea. The tanks, which arrived on Wednesday, are part of a routine troop swap.
Soldiers and equipment from the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division from Fort Riley, Kansas, are replacing the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division that has been in Europe for nine months. The delivery includes 87 M1 Abrams tanks, 103 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 18 Paladin self-propelled Howitzers, and other trucks and equipment, according to U.S. European Command (EUCOM).
“The continuous presence of an armored brigade bolsters the collective defense capability of NATO,” EUCOM said. “EUCOM forces live, train, and fight alongside and partners from strategic positions that enable more timely and coordinated response if needed to defend Europe.” The U.S. military rotation occurred as Russia began week-long military drills, called Zapad 2017, which are joint exercises with its ally Belarus.