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    Multicultural Day in the Heart of Chelmno, Poland

    Multicultural Day in the Heart of Chelmno, Poland

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Brad Miller | Macedonian military police demonstrate the Phraselator, a one-way, phrase-based,...... read more read more

    CHELMNO, Poland - The 18th Military Police Brigade participated in a multicultural day event with a static display of military vehicles, equipment and weapons in the town square alongside servicemembers from Poland, Bulgaria and Macedonia as part of Exercise Anakonda 2016.

    The 18th Military Police Brigade participated in a multicultural day event with a static display of military vehicles, equipment and weapons in the town square alongside servicemembers from Poland, Bulgaria and Macedonia as part of Exercise Anakonda 2016.

    The event was free, open to the public and gave the local community an opportunity to meet and interact with soldiers participating in the exercise. Attendees were able to don the improved outer tactical vest and advanced combat helmet, as well as climb into vehicles, including an M998 HMMWV and an M1117 armored security vehicle.

    The soldiers at each display were met with long lines of people waiting to see, touch and learn about the armies.

    “I’m very impressed. I think this is a very good event for our town,” said Jerzy Wojtasik, a Chelmno citizen. “I’m impressed by the people here, and I think presenting all the military equipment is very nice. All of the soldiers are kind to us, posing for photos. I really like this.“

    The displays seamlessly flow from one to the next with multiple armies sharing the same space. 1st Lt. Przemystan Lipczynski, a public affairs officer with the Polish Army, believes this helps send a positive message to the citizens of the city.

    “An event like this lets the militaries and Chelmno citizens get together and show how they work and what they can achieve together,” said Lipczynski. “Together we are strong, and people can come here and see what that means.”

    Col. Arturo J. Horton, commander of the 18th Military Police Brigade, said he believes setting up this display helps to develop a bond with the local people who have welcomed them into their country and lets them see that the U.S. Army is in Poland as a form of solidarity with the Polish Army as one of their strategic allies.

    “When you come to a city that you’ve never visited before and where you’re training, to be greeted with such warmth, hospitality and friendship is excellent,” said Horton. “To see the smiles on the faces of the people that are here visiting and the way they have welcomed us into their arms and then to see our task force soldiers interacting with them is truly rewarding.”

    Horton feels that having the opportunity to participate in the multicultural event allows the citizens of Chelmno to come face-to-face and interact with the soldiers for the first time during the training exercise.

    “We don’t only serve as warfighters. I think we also bring something else in our role in the United States Army,” Horton said. “We can really connect on a personal level with the people to show them that we are truly here to help and here for their collective defense.”

    Some citizens of the city view this event as more than just a demonstration of military equipment and cooperation between the nations.

    “Our citizens are very happy because it’s an opportunity to see militaries from other countries for the first time,” said Alicja Arendt, a Chelmno native. “Also, it is promoting our city and our region as very beautiful. We have old castles, we have an old square and people didn’t know that.”

    Horton feels the multicultural day event was successful in not only allowing the citizens of Chelmno to meet the soldiers of the allied nations but also giving the soldiers an opportunity to show their gratitude for welcoming them to their city and their country.

    “This is the first static display that I’ve been a part of in the heart of a city,” said Horton. “The biggest take-home for me would be a life-long memory of pulling up here and seeing this great crowd of people and immediately getting pictures with people you don’t even know but you’ve already connected with them on a certain level because you’re guests of the city and you have an informal bond. I think I’ll remember this for a long, long time.”

    Exercise Anakonda 2016 is a Polish-led, multinational exercise taking place in Poland from June 7-17. Exercise Anakonda 2016 is a premier training event for U.S. Army Europe and participating nations and demonstrates that the U.S. and partner nations can effectively unite together under a unified command while training on a contemporary scenario.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.11.2016
    Date Posted: 06.12.2016 09:02
    Story ID: 200786
    Location: CHELMNO, PL 
    Hometown: PEORIA, IL, US
    Hometown: SAN JOSE, CA, US

    Web Views: 177
    Downloads: 1
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