US Army is evaluating the permanent deployment of an armored brigade in Poland 29/03/2024 | Fabio Di Felice

The US Center for Strategic and International Studies’ transnational threat team, one of the major think tank teams of the center, proposed to the US military to reassess its force posture in Europe and reduce its reliance on short-term unit rotations.

In detail, the report’s authors recommended that the US Army should abandon the rotational armor brigade deployment model and move to a different force structure and long-term readiness. The report said that the service should permanently station an Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) in Poland to replace the 2 rotational armor ones currently employed. The proposal is based on the strong will to stop the large use of rotational forces, so reduce the negative impacts on the soldiers and their families, protecting the personnel from unnecessary stress, which is causing “low morale” and “discipline issues and increased divorce rates.” Moreover, the short-tour model has cost consequences, being more expensive compared to permanent bases, with the units less integrated into the continent’s culture and defense network.

Currently, V Corps’ forward headquarters are in Poznan, with Poland overseeing the 3 temporarily deployed Brigade Combat Teams, which include 1 light infantry brigade in addition to the 2 armor brigades, a division headquarters, a combat aviation brigade, fires assets, and sustainment units. Despite efforts to reduce their operational tempo, the Army’s armor units continue to deploy at a high rate to fulfill the Europe requirements, with 8/9-month rotation and limited breaks between them. Army spokesperson, Col. Roger Cabiness II, confirmed the Army evaluation is in progress highlighting the complexity of the permanent deployment which would require significant diplomatic and legislative approvals both at home and abroad.

The Center for Strategic Studies report, referring to Europe, also suggested that the USAF deploy an additional F-16 squadron in Germany, increase anti-submarine warfare capability and air defense forces, as well as bolster stockpiles of prepositioned equipment and ammunition. A possible candidate for permanently remaining in Europe could be the 4th Infantry Division’s 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, also known as IRON Brigade, pretty familiar with the European territory and its delicate equilibrium.

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Picture: An M1A2 ABRAMS tank of the US Army's 1st Armored Division is seen at Nowa Deba, Poland, in December 2023 (Bernabe Lopez III/U.S. Army).

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