Story by: Staff Sgt. Matthew Foster, 117th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
BEMOWO PISKIE, Poland – NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group Poland, “The Tip of the Spear,” held a Hand Over Take Over ceremony between the outgoing 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment (3-8 CAV), 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division (3/1 ABCT) “Warhorse Battalion” and the incoming 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment (1-9 CAV), 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team (2 ABCT), 1st Cavalry Division (1 CD) “Headhunter Battalion” on Feb. 2, 2023.
The Hand Over, Take Over ceremony acknowledges the achievements of the outgoing 3-8 CAV, 3/1 ABCT while welcoming the new leadership of the 1-9 CAV, 2 ABCT, 1 CD.
“To the soldiers representing the nations of the eFP Battle Group Poland, I am proud to have served with you here on NATO’s Eastern flank,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Sean M. Castilla, outgoing commander of eFP Battle Group Poland and commander of the 3-8 CAV, 3/1 ABCT. “Each one of you represents your country’s commitment and resolve the collective defense of this NATO alliance.”
Soldiers from nations of the NATO eFP Battle Group Poland train and serve as a unified military component, representing a strong expression of the NATO alliance in cooperation and solidarity.
“During the last few months, this Battle Group has been in a period not only of acute geopolitical complexity but also significant transition,” said Castilla. “We have aggressively trained hard together to build interoperability and strengthen the bonds of cohesion, lethality and true readiness to deter and defend against any aggressor to this alliance.”
The U.S. Army’s 1-9 CAV, 2 ABCT, 1 CD’s mission is to train with the other nations of the eFP Battle Group in Poland and to demonstrate the alliance’s determination and ability to act as one collective fighting force in response to any aggression against its members.
“This is a fantastic team of professional fighting forces coming together as one, and an opportunity for us to continue to strengthen interoperability,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. James Ray, incoming commander of eFP Battle Group Poland and commander of the 1-9 CAV, 2 ABCT, 1 CD. “Task Force Headhunter is thankful for the opportunity to become part of Battle Group Poland and participate in the alliance’s collective defense, and deterrence against any adversary to the sovereignty of any nations within the NATO alliance.”
The U.S. is prepared, equipped and committed to the NATO alliance and their allies, ensuring the collective defense of Poland through strengthening combat readiness and enhancing interoperability between the differing nations through training and exercises.
“Living and training alongside our allies daily strengthens our operability, improves communication and enhances our ability to anticipate, react, move and communicate as a cohesive team,” said Ray.
The Battle Group consists of U.S. Army Soldiers from 1-9 CAV, 2 ABCT, 1 CD and soldiers from Croatia, Romania, and the U.K. that contribute to and strengthen NATO alliance’s deterrence and defense posture in northeast Poland.
“It was a real honor and privilege to work with our allies within the Battle Group, working together in close unison and learning so much from each other,” said Castilla. “I am proud to say that we have enhanced our allied interoperability through our training and exercise, this is a combat-credible force that stands ready to answer any call and meet any challenge.”
The ceremony was brought to a close with a pass-in review involving Soldiers from all contingents of Battle Group Poland, as they marched in front of dignitaries and key leaders from the U.S. Army and NATO chains of command under the NATO banner.
“Cohesive teams are built on trust and forging lasting bonds that make us stronger together,” said Ray. “This Battle Group will remain fit, disciplined, lethal and ready for any challenge that we may face, from any adversary.”
Ray concluded the ceremony by reinforcing the U.S. commitment to the NATO alliance and the eFP Battle Group Poland’s determination to create stability of the European theater through interoperability and cooperation between the allied nations within the Battle Group.
“The entire Battle Group remains vigilant, we are ready and postured with credible forces through multinational trading opportunities and exercises that enhance cohesion and interoperability,” said Ray. “First team, we can-we will, stronger together.”