The US Army Europe’s 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC) has deployed a Patriot missile battery to Poland, to participate in a combined air and missile defence exercise with the country’s armed forces.
During the week-long exercise, the Delta Battery, 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment will train with its Polish counterparts in the 37th Missile Squadron of Air Defense.
The exercise will involve testing the Patriot crew’s proficiency and also conduct movement drills that practise the quick emplacement of the air defence systems.
The US air defence unit includes nearly 100 soldiers, and 30 vehicles including a complete Patriot battery system.
10th AAMDC commander colonel Greg Brady said: "Being in Poland provides our soldiers an enormous training opportunity and 10th AAMDC is committed to this cooperative effort with our Polish allies.
"This exercise also highlights our high state of readiness by demonstrating our rapid deployment capability to defend strategic assets within the alliance."
Delta Battery commander captain Jason Bryant said: "Partnerships like this benefit 5-7 Soldiers and allow us to be ready anytime we’re needed."
Held outside of Warsaw, Poland, the exercise is part of a series of activities within the framework of operation atlantic resolve, which aims to reassure allies, demonstrate freedom of movement and deter regional aggression on the eastern territory of Nato.
Jointly manufactured by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, Patriot is a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather air defence system designed to protect soldiers against advanced threats such as aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles in the battlefield.
Extensively operated by the US forces during Kuwait war and the Iraq conflict, the missile is also in service with Egypt, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Korea, Taiwan and the UAE.
The US and Poland started air defence cooperation in the late 1990s before the latter’s entry into Nato, including establishment of a partnership with Poland’s 3rd Air Defense Brigade and US Army Europe’s air defence units in 1999, and intensified it in recent years.
Image: A column of US Army vehicles carrying a Patriot missile system arrives for a training exercise at Sochaczew, Poland. Photo: courtesy of Sgt 1st Class Randall Jackson, 10th AAMDC Public Affairs.