BEMOWO PISKIE, Poland –
The NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Poland consisting of the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment (3-8 CAV), 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, operationally controlled by the 1st Infantry Division, alongside Polish Armed Forces 15th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, The Royal Lancers, Prince of Wales Troop, Romanian Sky Guardians, and Croatian army Archer Battery participated in the annual Bull Run training exercise in Bemowo Piskie, Poland, Nov. 17 - 25.
Led by the 3-8 CAV, 3-1 ABCT, "Bull Run" is an exercise that puts the soldiers of the eFP Battle Group Poland into simulated engagements and training exercise with the main objective is to affirm the combat readiness of allied nations troops to efficiently conduct defensive activities.
“Bull Run 22 is a multinational exercise that provided Battle Group Poland with a terrific opportunity to partner with our Polish allies to demonstrate our collective combat-credibility, cohesion, and interoperability,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Sean M. Castilla, commander of NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Poland and the commander of 3-8 CAV, 3-1 ABCT. “Training events such as Bull Run enhances the warfighting proficiency amongst the allies, improves overall coordination, and reinforces our commitment to the defense of NATO's Eastern flank.”
The “Bull Run” training exercise was initiated by an alert to the troops and led to the battle group relocating to an assembly area where the training exercises commenced. The U.S. and Polish 20th Mechanized Brigade were the leading units from the Battle Group while the U.K. provided reconnaissance operations, with Croatia and Romania providing fire, and anti-air support.
“Through the execution of a multinational combat-arms live-fire training exercise that included assets from the 20th Mechanized Polish BMP platoon, 9th Armored Platoon, 91 tank platoon firing in unison with Polish fixed and rotary wing assets, as well as Polish rocket artillery utilizing BM-21’s, firing alongside a U.S. Bradley platoon, a Paladin artillery platoon and mortar systems, Romanian Air Defense Artillery battery, supported by U.K. reconnaissance assets.” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Sean M. Castilla. “With the addition of two multinational mass casualty exercises; multinational reconnaissance training; and a multinational wet gap crossing, the eFP Battle Group Poland has demonstrated its ability to engage our adversaries and win at the point of contact alongside our allies.”
The exercise took comprehensive planning and coordination within the NATO allied nations and required synchronized communication between the eFP Battle Group Poland as well as the Polish host nation.
“It’s been absolutely fantastic to work alongside the Americans and our Polish allies in conducting exercise Bull Run,” said U.K. Maj. Freddie Taylor-Dickson, commander of The Royal Lancers, Prince of Wales Troop. “We look forward to more opportunities like this, to train together and continue to build our cohesion as a battle group and enhance our interoperability.”
The purpose of this exercise is to reinforce interoperability between the eFP Battle Group Poland and its ability to routinely act together coherently, effectively and efficiently to achieve tactical, operational, and strategic objectives.
“The integration and interoperability of our combined forces during this Bull Run shows the full capabilities of this NATO alliance and shows the U.S. commitment to that alliance, and to the deterrence and defense of Poland,” said U.S. Army Capt. Stephen Noorlag, commander of Chaos Company, 3-8 CAV. “In the European theater, we may be called upon to defend our allies at any time in this region of the world, and we are here to integrate into a cohesive fighting force to defend against any adversary that may threaten any member of the NATO alliance or Polish sovereignty.”
This exercise enabled allied nations to cohesively, through the planning and implementation, to achieve the goal of this operation, to reinforce that the eFP Battle Group Poland is fully ready and capable to respond to any threat from any potential adversaries.
“Enhancing interoperability with allies through exercises like Bull Run enables shared understanding, fosters our warfighting capabilities and enhances lethality should we ever be called upon to defend NATO territory,” said Castilla.
Castilla stated that he is very proud of the Battle Group Poland team. He went on to say that they've really come together in such a short time after the newest team arrived on ground.
“The success of Bull Run shows our capability, effectiveness and commitment to meet the adversarial threats around the world and reinforces that we are truly stronger together,” said Castilla.