ZAGAN, Poland — Maj. Gen. Gamble and Command Sgt. Maj. Delgado, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, reviewed the progress of the reception, staging and onward movement of an armored brigade by visiting with Soldiers from the 16th Sustainment Brigade operating tactical assembly areas and visiting with the first Soldiers to arrive in Poland from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Jan. 10.
“The reception, staging and onward movement process in Europe is designed not for just one brigade but for a series of brigades,” said Gamble, 21st TSC commander. “We are creating the infrastructure and defining the processes for speed of assembly and the massing of forces.”
The 21st TSC tasked the 16th Sust. Bde. with managing the movement of the 3rd ABCT, 4th ID as they arrived in Europe. Soldiers flew over their vehicles and equipment, which were hauled by rail from Bremerhaven, Germany, and landed in different locations in Poland. Planning for these complex movements required precise timing to connect the Soldiers with their M1 Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles immediately in order to establish a dynamic security presence.
Lt. Col. Brian Ketz, 16th Special Troops Battalion commander, is responsible for operating the tactical assembly areas for the 3rd ABCT, 4th ID. The services provided at the assembly areas allow the Iron Brigade to focus their attention on building combat power for multinational training exercises. Sustainers operating the tactical assembly areas from the 16th Sust. Bde. provide life-support facilities, training facilities and ranges for the Soldiers occupying the areas.
By providing life-support activities, the 16th Sust. Bde. is able to keep the Iron Brigade in the rapid deployment pipeline, expediting their speed of assembly in the European theater.
“Setting up the tactical assembly areas was an outstanding experience. Working with our allies from Poland and establishing this site for Soldiers from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team is a great achievement,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Cool, 51st Transportation Company, 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion motor transport operator. “We want to make sure that the 3rd ABCT, 4th ID Soldiers are unencumbered so they can hit the ground running when they arrive and not have to worry about life support activities.”
After visiting with Soldiers in the assembly areas, Gamble and Delgado inspected M1 Abrams tanks arriving to the railhead in Swietoszow, Poland, and visited Soldiers working in the motor pool.
“This is what it is all about, tanks in motor pools and Soldiers on tanks working.” Delgado said. “A strong Europe.”
Nine-month rotations of armored and aviation brigades are essential to support NATO’s shift from assurance to deterrence. With each rotational force coming into Europe, the U.S. Army sharpens its speed of assembly through improved logistical processes.