DRAWSKO POMORSKIE, POLAND (KSNT) – Soldiers from Fort Riley participated in a summit on the use of Abrams tanks recently with troops from the Polish Land Forces.
From April 26-28, U.S. soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division hosted the first Abrams Operations Summit in Poland. The summit introduced Polish Land Forces leadership to U.S. Army systems and procedures focused on supporting successful Abrams tank operations. Polish troops learned about Abrams capabilities, tactics and more throughout the summit.
The first day revolved around classroom education. Polish soldiers were taught about officer and noncommissioned officer development, crew management, training management, operational facilities and maintenance. Live demonstrations of how an Abrams tank platoon conducts actions on contact marked the end of day one.
April 27 started with sessions on gunnery practical exercises and panels on field maintenance and sustainment. Polish troops were also given live demonstrations on range operations, recovery operations, service station resupply and refueling while on the move.
The final day of the summit ended with a leader panel on mobility operations and subject matter expert discussions on combined arms breaching operations. At the end, 2-34 Armor provided a live-fire demonstration of a combined arms breach.
“We developed the Abrams Operations Summit in conjunction with the Polish Land Forces to be the first step in a series of events we’re going to do to introduce the Abrams tank platform to the Polish forces,” said U.S. Army Col. Geoffrey Norman, deputy commanding officer for support of the 1st Infantry Division and director of the summit. “The purpose of the summit was to introduce the Polish Land Forces to how the U.S. Army operates with the Abrams tank.”
“We’re thankful for the cooperation during the operations summit because this event helps us understand what the needs of this equipment are and how to implement that in our structures,” said Polish Land Forces 1st Lt. Kamil Gromadzinski, a company commander with the 1st Warsaw Brigade.
Polish crews are expected to start formal training on the M1A2SEPV2 Abrams tank and the M88A2 HERCULES recovery vehicle this summer to help build the relationship between the U.S. and it’s ally, Poland. During this training period, some Polish troops will continue to be embedded with U.S. Army units through the Abrams Apprentice Program where they will continue to learn master gunner and maintenance operations.
The Polish Army bought 250 M1A2SEPV3 Abrams tanks along with the necessary maintenance equipment and training to modernize their tank fleet. This sale, which was approved by Congress in February 2022, will see the first delivery of tanks in late 2024 with a number of M1A2SEPV2 tanks being provided early to be used for training.
The 1st Infantry Division is among other units assigned to V Corps, America’s forward deployed corps in Europe that works alongside North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies and regional security partners to provide combat-credible forces; execute joint, bilateral and multinational training exercises; and provides command and control for rotational and assigned unites in the European theater.
Soldiers from Fort Riley have been stationed in Poland recently due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. The soldiers will stay in Ukraine for “as long as they are needed” according to Army officials in efforts to boost Europe’s defense.