by Sgt. Seth LaCount
More than 80 Soldiers assigned to the Alaska Army National Guard’s 297th Regional Support Group departed from Ted Steven International’s Kulis airfield on May 13 for a deployment to Poland in order to provide support for U.S. Army Europe’s Atlantic Resolve mission.
Since April 2014, U.S. Army Europe has led the Department of Defense’s Atlantic Resolve land efforts by bringing units based in the U.S. to Europe for nine months at a time, according to U.S. Army Europe’s website.
Atlantic Resolve provides these rotational units with the ability to build readiness, increase interoperability, and enhance the bond between ally and partner militaries through multinational training events.
“This is going to be the first time our unit has supported an Army services component command for a geographic combatant commander,” said Alaska Army National Guard Col. Matthew Schell, commander of the 297th RSG. “When we are deployed, we will all learn how our job fits into an Army service component command and I think that our Soldiers will learn a lot about fine-tuning their leadership and professional skills in a joint environment.”
There are three types of Atlantic Resolve rotations: armored, aviation or sustainment task force. These rotations are overseen by the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division, a regionally aligned headquarters based in Poznan, Poland.
While in Poland, the 297th RSG will provide the essential sustainment functions for the rotational forces that are training there. This will include base operations support across Poland where they will provide facilities management assistance for dining, lodging, gymnasium and laundry amenities.
According to their website, U.S. Army Europe is working closely with U.S. military and host nation officials to respond to the COVID-19 situation and keep personnel informed. The health and well-being of all Soldiers, civilians and family members are top priority and critical to mission readiness.
“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic is going to change the way we react with each other and the Polish Army during our deployment,” Schell said. “We will continue to look out for the safety of our Soldiers through social distancing, masks and hand washing”.
There are approximately 6,000 Soldiers participating in Atlantic Resolve at any given time, conducting operations and exercises across 17 countries.
Deployments of ready, combat-credible U.S. forces to Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve is evidence of the strong and unremitting U.S. commitment to NATO and Europe, according to U.S. Army Europe.
Sgt. Seth LaCount writes from Joint Force Headquarters, Alaska National Guard.