The U.S. Army has begun deploying Abrams main battle tanks and fighting vehicles to Poland as part of a final phase of training for a U.S.-led multinational exercise. The exercise is the DEFENDER-Europe 20 which demonstrated U.S.’s commitment to NATO and its resolve to stand by its European Allies and Partners.

Covid-19: Changes to the Army

The Baltic Security has reported that the artillery, which includes around 55 Abrams main battle tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles, was originally moved from sites in Germany and Belgium to Poland. The equipment redistributed support the exercises brought in from DEFENDER-Europe 20. Modifications have been made in consideration for COVID-19 health and safety measures. The soldiers involved are exercising under the health and safety recommendations of the World Health Organization and the host nation rules.

As part of the training, the unit will also mount the Trophy system on Abrams tanks. It acts as an active protection system which detects any explosive equipment headed towards the tanks. The deployment of the Trophy system provides the U.S. Army’s logistics teams with the opportunity to assess and experience the dynamics of moving and installing the system in a field environment.

Around 500 soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 1st Armoured Brigade Combat Team, 12th Calvary Regiment, 1st Calvary Division, out of Fort Hood, Texas, will participate in the exercise. The 1st Calvary Division Headquarters out of Poland will serve as mission command for the exercise whilst the 7th Army Training Command out of Germany, will provide exercise control.

DEFENDER-Europe 20 was designed as an exercise to build strategic readiness in support of the U.S. National Defence Strategy and NATO deterrence targets. The presence of COVID-19 modified the size and scope of the whole programme, with approximately 6000 U.S. and Polish Soldiers taking part of the first phase of the exercise.