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The Abrams MBTs For Poland – Polish Army Representatives In Fort Hood

In Fort Hood in Texas, where there is a Headquarters of the 1st Cavalry Division of the US Army, a visit related to the acquisition of M1A2SEPv3 Abrams tanks, of the the Polish Army representatives took place.

On 30 November this year the press service of the US Army reported that in Fort Hood in Texas, where the HQ of 1st Cavalry Division (1st Cavalry Division First Team) is located, a visit related to the acquisition of M1A2SEPv3 Abrams tanks, of the Polish Army representatives took place.

In Fort Hood in Texas, where there is a Headquarters of the 1st Cavalry Division of the US Army, a visit related to the acquisition of M1A2SEPv3 Abrams tanks, of the the Polish Army representatives took place / photos: U.S. Army

The delegation of the five officers from the General Command of Branches of Armed Forces (DG RSZ) paid a working visit on 29 November, organised with the participation of the Polish Attache of Bureau for Defence Cooperation at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington. The visit was aimed at increasing interoperability between U.S. Army and Polish Land Forces, thanks to the possibility of examining activities related to the maintenance and servicing of Abrams tanks, as well as infrastructure facilities at Fort Hood.

Colonel Marek Krylonek from the Attaché Bureau for Defence Cooperation, said:

We are here with Polish soldiers to have a close look into the Abrams tanks. We attempt to learn as much as possible about maintenance and any problems related to the everyday use of Abrams tanks. This is a very informative visit to the 1st Cavalry Division. We are really grateful for this occasion and knowledge that the US soldiers shared. I think that such cooperation has a huge impact on the partnership of the United States and Poland. The goal of the Polish Ministry of Defence is possession of a similar, if not the same equipment as US Army troops in Poland. This will increase the joint interoperability of our forces, especially since we train together.

Major Stephen Barnes, Staff Officer (S-3) from the 1st Battalion of the 12th Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, added:

Today we had the opportunity to involve the Polish delegation in the way we carry out maintenance. We could talk about some technical support capabilities that we have, with infrastructure on our backup facilities, and ensure that thanks to the knowledge of our substantive experts we must be sure that our tank fleet is fully operational and fit to fight.

Colonel Marek Brylonek stressed that the Polish side focuses on Abrams tanks, while acquiring additional equipment from the USA, both for land and air forces. During the visit, the Polish representatives had the opportunity to look at a special tools and container-based support equipment, and see what an average day from the life of tanks mechanics looks like, and their crews ensure a continuous readiness of their machines.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Cerpico Arizala, Commander of the Transport Company, 1st Battalion of the 12th Regiment, reminded his own service in Poland in 2015, noted during joint training with the Polish troops that if the armed forces of both countries will continue to test American and Polish equipment, this may increase quality and quantity of common training opportunities during cooperation in Europe.

According to him, the 1st Cavalry Division can continue to cooperate with the Polish Army in building the capability to maintain and use of Abrams tanks in Poland, by training and certifications at the level of individual tank crews, which are crucial in the entire system. Colonel Marek Brylonek pointed out that the visit was very instructive and I hope that in the future it would be continued, and there will be additional opportunities to learn more about other possibilities of the tanks.

Meanwhile, on 22 November this year, the first group of Polish soldiers-instructors completed the 27-day long 19K transitional course (training to a new type of military equipment) for M1 Abrams Tanks supervised by 1st Training Armoured Battalion of the 204th Regional Training Institute in Gowen Field (Boise, Idaho), using the facilities of Orchard Combat Training Center, OCTC).

Let us remind that on 14 July this year, the purchase of 250 M1A2SEPv3 Abrams tanks (four battalions) together with support vehicles was agreed, which is scheduled to PLN 23.3 billion (together with the costs of modernization of infrastructure, as well as purchase of ammunition).

According to earlier declarations, tank deliveries to Poland, after the conclusion of the relevant contract, may begin next year. Although there has been no consent of the US Department of State to sell them yet, it is being supported by the Armed Forces Commission of the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, as DG RSZ informed in social media, the first batch of 28 M1A2SEPv3 Abrams tanks is to be delivered to Poland next year..

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