Tomasz Siemoniak, Polish Minister of Defence, stated that heavy equipment of the US Armed forces is going to be deployed in two bases in Poland, in mid-2016 - as the Polish Press Agency reports.
Minister of Defence also said that the equipment is going to be used during the Anakonda 2016 exercise, and then it is going to be stored in Western and North-Eastern Poland – as the Polish Press Agency reports. M1 Abrams tanks and Bradley IFV’s will be the equipment which is going to be possibly deployed to Poland.
Deploying the said hardware in Poland is an element of reinforcing the reaction capabilities of the US forces in Europe. As we know, US Secretary of State, Ashton Carter, said that equipment sufficient to cover the needs of a US Army brigade combat group is going to be stored in Europe.
Core of the package above is formed by ca. 250 M1A2 Abrams tanks, M2/M3 Bradley IFV’s and M109 self-propelled howitzers. The hardware is going to be used by a US Army Brigade which is permanently stationed in the United States of America, acting under the jurisdiction of the US Forces’ European command.
Before the Ukrainian crisis started, the Americans stored equipment for a battalion-sized unit in Germany. It is quite plausible that a similar quantity of the hardware would be stationed in Poland. However, no heavy tactical elements of the US forces are present in Europe at the moment.
Deployment of the US heavy equipment in Europe makes it easier to enhance the quick reaction capabilities of the units operating under the jurisdiction of the European command of the US Forces. It should be noted though, that Bradley IFVs, tanks and other vehicles are going to be stationed in a variety of locations, including the Baltic republics and Germany.
Ray Odierno, who was the US Army commander at the time, noted in his interview for the Wall Street Journal, that he is going to undertake efforts, the aim of which would be to deploy equipment for another brigade in Germany. Deployment of that equipment could contribute to shortened reaction times – this is desirable from the point of view of the NATO member states located in Mid-Eastern Europe.