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Jun 4 2021

Washington National Guard soldiers are ready to take eFP mission in Poland

SZCZECIN, Poland - The U.S. Army National Guard's 81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based in Seattle, is U.S. Army Europe and Africa's ninth rotation deployed in support of NATO's enhanced Forward Presence.

Approximately 800 soldiers began deploying to Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland, in May. The U.S. soldiers will serve alongside NATO Allies from Croatia, Romania and the United Kingdom, which collectively make up Battle Group Poland. More than 300 pieces of the unit's equipment will off-load at the Esbjerg, Denmark, port June 4-12. The deployment to Poland is the largest for the Washington National Guard since the 81st Brigade Combat Team deployed in 2009-2010 and 2004-2005 to support Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Notably, this is the first time the U.S. Army and the Danish Ministry of Defense have used the Esbjerg port for an operation of this kind. The operation reflects the ability of U.S. and Danish military forces to execute a complex logistics and transportation equipment movement on this scale. All movements of personnel and equipment will be conducted while adhering to the prevention and protection guidance directed by the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Centers for Disease Control, host nation governments and local authorities to proactively mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

Even while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, our citizen-soldiers continue to train and deploy in support of our overseas requirements, said MG Bret Daugherty, the Adjutant General.

In addition, 150 guardsmen and women from Washington state's 81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team are deployed to Ukraine in support of a Joint Multinational Training mission there.

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81st Stryker Bde Combat Team offloading equipment in Esbjerk, Denmark / Photo by Lars Skjoldan
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81st Stryker Bde Combat Team offloading equipment in Esbjerk, Denmark / Photo by Lars Skjoldan
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Washington Army National Guard Soldiers, assigned to 81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, conduct squad live-fire and tactical movement training, on March 4, 2021, at Yakima Training Center, Washington. 
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Washington Army National Guard Soldiers, assigned to 81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, conduct squad live-fire and tactical movement training, on March 4, 2021, at Yakima Training Center, Washington. 

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office, courtesy of U.S. Army Europe and Africa

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