Black Hawks Arrive in Greece
(Source: US Army Europe; issued Feb. 27, 2017)
Eight UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and support equipment from the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade arrived in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Feb. 25, 2017 as part of a rotational force supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve. (US Army photo)
THESSALONIKI, Greece --- Eight UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and more than 70 other pieces of equipment arrived at the Port of Thessaloniki here Feb. 25 as part of the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade's nine-month rotational deployment in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

OAR was designed to reassure European allies in light of Russia's invasion in Ukraine.

The helicopters arriving in Greece are part of a European theater rotation that includes armor and air assets that began arriving in January. The troops will train with the United States' allies and partners as well as respond to crises, should it be required. This is the first full aviation regionally allocated force to OAR and U.S. Army Europe.

"This is a great opportunity for interactions between Greek and American soldiers in order to develop capacity, share lessons, and hone expertise," said U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt, who visited the port to observe and talk with U.S. and Greek military leaders and the soldiers of the 10th CAB.

U.S. military units are working with NATO allies and partners in Poland, the Baltic states, Bulgaria, Romania and Germany for rotational deployments focusing on training, exercises and maintenance.

"This is the most successful alliance in the history of the world," said Army Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the USAREUR commander. "The port of Thessaloniki is a gateway into Europe, and Atlantic armies could not prosper without our allies."

USAREUR's preparation for an increased presence across the European theater contributes to and strengthens the alliance's deterrence and defense. The forward presence of U.S. troops is essential to assure allies, deter adversaries and be postured to act in a timely manner if deterrence fails.

"Deterrence is about the agility of the United States Army. These helicopters came from Fort Drum, New York, and just hours after the aircraft are coming off of the ship they are going to fly away from here and in about three days they are going to conduct an air assault operation in Romania," Hodges said. "In such a short amount of time, that kind of agility is central to what we do."

The 10th CAB is arriving at three seaports and three airports throughout February and early March. This facilitation of movement has been assisted by multiple agencies ranging from military logistics units to civilian counterparts and in this instance, Greek Allies.

"This operation is the first time in recent years that the U.S. Army has used the port of Thessaloniki," said Army Lt. Col. Jason Alvis, the 839th Transportation Battalion commander.

The port was a primary Kosovo Force cargo entry point from 1999-2001, when NATO allies processed more than 557 ships.

Greek military aviators and key leaders welcomed their military allies and said they were looking forward to working together more often. During the assembly of helicopters, American crew chiefs and pilots invited their Greek counterparts to engage in the action and medics from both countries exchanged knowledge of tactics, techniques and procedures.

"This is great opportunity to enhance our cooperation," said Greek Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Alkiviadis Stefanis. "The Greek position offers stability, and we also offer the Alliance and the professionalism of our Soldiers. We are very proud to have you here and we are looking forward to enhancing our cooperation."

U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51-country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.


3/4 ABCT Arrives in Bulgaria for Deterrence Role
(Source: US Army; issued Feb 26, 2017)
NOVO SELO, Bulgaria --- As the M2 Bradley fighting vehicles drove into the motor pool Feb. 21, fresh off trains from Poland, a group of journalists from Bulgaria's national news outlets filmed their arrival.

Approximately 125 Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion ("Fighting Eagles"), 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, deployed to Novo Selo Training Area Feb. 15 to conduct training with Bulgarian land forces that will be focused on strengthening interoperability and sustaining readiness.

Their equipment -- including 14 M2A3 Bradley fighting vehicles and an M3A3 Bradley fire support team vehicle -- arrived about a week later to Bulgaria.

"I am glad to be here at Novo Selo with my Soldiers," said Capt. Sean Griffin, the Company A commander. "Now that our equipment is here, we are excited to begin training. One of the things we will accomplish during our time here is we will train with our Bulgarian colleagues as well as engage the local community to learn about our shared cultures and customs."

Beyond Bulgaria, the Fighting Eagles combined arms battalion deployed from Poland to Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase, Romania, a week prior to Company A's arrival in Bulgaria, bringing 500 U.S. troops, M1 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley fighting vehicles.

"This is a great opportunity for us to train with our NATO allies and develop interoperability," said Lt. Col. Jason Sabat, commander, 1st Bn., 8th Inf. Regt., while speaking to Bulgarian media on Tuesday.

Col. Yordan Yordanov, Deputy Commander of the Joint Facilities and Coordination Facilities Directorate, Bulgarian Ministry of Defense, stood side by side with Sabat to emphasize the joint partnership in the training exercises.

Atlantic Resolve is U.S. and NATO allies' and partners' commitment to collective security in Europe. Since the start of their arrival in Germany and Poland on Jan. 5, 3/4 ABCT soldiers are now operating in seven countries throughout central and eastern Europe to conduct bilateral training with their host-nation counterparts and multinational exercises.

More than 3,500 soldiers, 80 tanks, 130 Bradley fighting vehicles and 18 Paladin howitzers from the "Iron Brigade" are operating in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Germany, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The brigade's movement from Poland to seven other NATO countries demonstrates U.S. Army Europe's ability to freely move across Europe, providing the capability to rapidly respond to potential threats against NATO allies.


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