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    Polish, US Engineers clear a path for continued interoperability

    Polish, US Engineers clear a path for training in Poland

    Photo By Sgt. Andrew McNeil | U.S. Soldiers from the 194th Engineer Brigade, Tennessee National Guard, perform...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Andrew McNeil 

    22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   

    KONOTOP, Poland — The air became filled with the aroma of earth as a U.S. Army engineer, assigned to the Tennessee National Guard, used a D6 bulldozer to cut through the ground to begin excavation at a range near the Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area in Poland, May 15.

    “We are out here on the Polish armored tank range beginning work on a 350-meter MAT (moving armored target) site,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jesse Cotton, a Lynchburg, Tennessee, native, assigned to the 194th Engineer Brigade, Tennessee National Guard, which is working with Polish engineers during Resolute Castle 2018.

    Resolute Castle allows NATO and U.S. Army engineers to support Atlantic Resolve by promoting interoperability between Polish and U.S. counterparts.

    The days leading up to the beginning of the project, the worksite at the range had been swept for unexploded ordnance by Polish engineers assigned to the 5th Engineer Regiment. Once given the all clear, the U.S. engineers quickly began excavating.

    “This (project) helps put a great image of us in the minds of the Polish military here and whenever they use it, they’ll think of the guys from Tennessee,” said Cotton, the project officer in charge of the site. “And as a horizontal unit, we love to see our finished product out there in the world.”

    Horizontal construction units focus on creating, building a repairing infrastructure such roadways, whereas a vertical construction unit builds from the ground up starting with foundations and ending with finished buildings.
    The MAT range project is one of many projects being worked on at the Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, during Resolute Castle 2018.

    “Currently, there are four job sites that are being worked on by the horizontal engineers from Tennessee,” said Master Sgt. Byron Smith, a Roscommon, Michigan, native, assigned to the 507th Engineer Battalion and the construction operations noncommissioned officer in charge of the project.

    Smith said the 107th Engineer Battalion, Michigan National Guard, which he is temporarily attached to during Resolute Castle, is working on multiple building sites to include an administrative building, an open-bay multipurpose building, a forward arming and refueling point (FARP) and the MAT, said Smith.

    The multiple projects running at once has given the engineers participating in the exercise the opportunity to train on a variety of machinery. The projects also establish interoperability by encouraging the U.S. and NATO allies to work together and implement innovative solutions to common engineering problems.

    “Operations like Resolute Castle are a great platform for building relationships between other nations,” said Cotton. “Cross training is a great way to build up relationships between us and them, be a little friendlier and get to know each other's culture.”

    Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of the United States’ commitment to the collective security of Europe through the deployment of rotational U.S. forces in cooperation with NATO ally and partner nations.



    Date Taken: 05.15.2018
    Date Posted: 05.15.2018 15:58
    Story ID: 277083
    Hometown: KONOTOP, UA
    Hometown: HUNTSVILLE, TN, US
    Hometown: ISHPEMING, MI, US
    Hometown: JACKSON, TN, US
    Hometown: LYNCHBURG, TN, US
    Hometown: MARQUETTE, MI, US
    Hometown: NEGAUNEE, MI, US
    Hometown: ROSCOMMON, MI, US

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