The soldiers of the Iron Brigade have begun loading the vehicles and containers onto the trains, which are to transport the armoured brigade’s equipment, for the purpose of preparing the said inventory for shipping to Europe. According to the US Army, the said equipment is to be deployed within 8 states in Central and Eastern Europe. As it is being stressed by the officers who coordinate the transport initiative, this type of movement of the elements of the Armored Brigade Combat team has not taken place for years. The loading process began on 7th November, while a relevant press release has been issued 4 days later.
The whole equipment package belonging to an American armoured brigade is to arrive at the German port of Bremerhaven in January. Next, via railways or roads (military convoys and commercial transport operations) the hardware is going to be transported to Poland, from where a major portion of the units of the US Armoured Brigade is expected to operate, including the reconnaissance and artillery battalions. Some of the US forces will be then deployed to 7 more states, including Germany, Estonia or Bulgaria.
One of the most difficult challenges which is to be faced by the US soldiers is related to demonstration of an ability of carrying out major and quick deployments of heavy equipment which, as a consequence, are to increase operational effectiveness and enhance presence of the US Forces in Europe. The armoured brigade, involving more than 4 thousand soldiers, will reinforce the deterrence and defence capabilities which remain at the NATO’s disposal.
Its equipment includes around 90 M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks, 130 M2/M3 Bradley IFVs and, probably, 18 M109A6 self-propelled howitzers. Alongside the full brigade which is being deployed (with the said brigade being stationed in the United States of America permanently so far), equipment for at least one more unit is also going to be transported to Europe, so that, should a threat emerge, it would only be required to deploy the personnel.
As it has been stressed by the US officers, during the 9-months long rotation the US units will be involved in routine exercises and movement around the European theatre, in order to refine the capabilities of operating within the territories of the European NATO member states. The first demonstration such as the one mentioned above is going to be seen in the event of the US forces appearing at the German port, and in an operation, the objective of which is going to be to transport the hardware to Poland a few weeks after, following the arrival in Germany.
The largest ammunition shipment since 20 years has reached Germany at the beginning of November. The supply initiative is being coordinated by the US Army. The ammunition was transported to Germany on 29th October, reaching the port of Nordeham. There, the containers were loaded onto trains and shipped to Miesau Army Depot, which is the largest US ammunition storage outside the CONUS. From there, the ammunition will be distributed to the selected US units across Europe.
The shipment includes ammunition for both the US Air Force, as well as for the US Army.