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Poland: US Troops Fire Training Rounds, Show Strength of NATO

Image: Poland: US Troops Fire Training Rounds, Show Strength of NATO

NATO deploys 3,500 US troops for joint training in Zagan, Poland. (Screegrab via YouTube)

By    |   Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017 10:42 AM

In Poland, U.S. troops fired tank rounds during training Monday as the country's officials praised the presence of Americans as a sign of NATO's strength.

"The Iron Brigade" of the 4th Infantry Division arrived earlier this month in Poland with 87 tanks, 144 armored vehicles and 3,500 troops, NBC News reported. It was the largest U.S. deployment in Europe since the end of the Cold War, the broadcaster noted.

"This moment is historic, because it changes the model in our part of Europe," Polish President Andrzej Duda said at the launch of a joint exercise of Polish and American troops in Zagan, Poland, according to Agence France-Presse.

Concerns about Russian aggression in the region were piqued three years ago when Russian-loyal separatists invaded Ukraine, NBC News noted. That led to Russia annexing of Crimea.

A statement from the U.S. Army earlier this month said that the brigade's live-fire training provided crews from the brigade's 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, and 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment their first change to use their Bradleys' main guns and complete the Live Fire Accuracy Screening Test for the M1A2 Abrams tank.

"We have only been on the ground in Poland less than 10 days, and we're already conducting a live-fire accuracy screen table showing that we can build combat power rapidly and the speed of assembly that comes with it," Lt. Col. Stephen Capehart, 1-68 Armor Regt. Commander, said in the statement. "Readiness doesn't end. We will validate our equipment and crews so that, if the need ever were to arise, they are ready to face any form of aggression."

The Pentagon has said the troop deployment was intended to strengthen ties with NATO allies and send a message to Russia about its commitment to Europe, CNN reported earlier this month. Russia, in response, has called the troop movement a threat to Russian security.

President Donald Trump had questioned the effectiveness of NATO during his campaign along with financial contributions made by European countries to the alliance. But Trump's defense secretary, James Mattis, a former supreme allied commander of NATO, voiced strong support for coalition during his confirmation hearing, CNN noted.

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In Poland, U.S. troops fired tank rounds during training Monday as the country's officials praised the presence of Americans as a sign of NATO's strength.
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2017-42-31
Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017 10:42 AM
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