12-Jun-2014 Source: US Army
More than 60 pilots and support personnel and five UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) deployed here from Katterbach Army Airfield, Germany, June 6 to support U.S. and NATO forces training in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
The CAB Soldiers arrived by helicopter at the 12th Air Base of the Polish air force, where they were met by Polish ground teams and escorted to the facilities they will use for the duration of their stay here.
In a round trip from Katterbach to Miroslawiec, three CH-47F Chinook helicopters from 5th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support) ferried support personnel and equipment to Poland, then returned to their home base in Germany. Almost immediately after arriving here and unloading the equipment, the Soldiers established maintenance, flight operations and a command post in the facilities provided for them by the Polish air force.
Representing a diverse array of specialties, Soldiers from three battalions and the brigade headquarters prepared to sustain CAB operations here. The 412th Aviation Support Battalion laid the groundwork, with signal specialists providing network connectivity and radio communications. Fuel, ammunition and supply specialists coordinated long-term logistical support from their home base in Germany and from Polish forces. Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment (Airfield Operations) began building relationships with the Polish air traffic controllers they will work alongside in the control tower. Planners from the brigade headquarters and the Soldiers of C Company, 3rd Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment built air missions for future training.
The CAB will conduct operations in the region on a rotational basis as part of the continued U.S. Army Europe’s persistent presence land forces assurance exercises, supporting the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team and partner forces. The persistent presence land forces assurance exercises are the first in a series of expanded U.S. land force training activities in Poland and the Baltic region slated to continue for the next few months.
The exercises, conducted by USAREUR Soldiers and host nation forces, are a demonstration of U.S. commitment to NATO and America’s collective defense responsibilities through increased ground, air and naval forces presence. The intent of the supplementary exercises is to reassure NATO allies that the U.S. is committed to upholding its obligations under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty. This action comes at the request of the host nation governments.