The ceremony brought together multiple dignitaries and key leaders from the U.S. and Polish Armies and the NATO chain of command. In attendance was General Jarosław Mika, the General Commander of the Polish Armed Forces.
Lieutenant Colonel Trevor Philips, the battlegroup outgoing commander, said that leading the multinational troops in Poland was one of the greatest honors in his military career. As emphasized by Philips, this close cooperation between the Allies resulted in the interoperability and agility of the battlegroup:
I am confident that we are ready to fight at any given time, day or night.
He thanked the soldiers who stood before him on the parade field and underscored that it was their professionalism and endeavor which made this deployment so successful in achieving its objectives of deterrence and assurance.
To celebrate the battalion's accomplishments, General Mika awarded
Lieutenant Colonel Philips the Silver Medal of the Polish Army, and the
unit's Command Sergeant Major Thomas Dalton the Bronze Medal of the
The California National Guard soldiers handed over to the Fort Hood-based 3rd “Warhorse” Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. This is the 11th rotation of the U.S. forces as part of NATO's enhanced Forward Presence.
The "Warhorse" battalion is a highly modernized unit. Their deployment to Poland encompasses not only military personnel but also heavy armoured equipment, such as Abrams main battle tanks and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.
Lieutenant Colonel Sean Castilla, the battalion and battlegroup commander, welcomed the opportunity to serve alongside British, Polish and Romanian Allies in Poland. "Our mission is of deterrence," he said. As emphasized by Castilla, a critical way of showing their capabilities will be though training exercises and integration into the Polish Army 15th Mechanized Brigade.
Currently, the U.S.-led NATO eFP Battlegroup Poland includes contingents from Romania and the United Kingdom, all of whom operate in concert with Poland’s own 15th Mechanized Brigade, headquartered in Giżycko, northeastern Poland. The battlegroup collectively fortifies NATO’s ability to deter and defend against any potential threat in the region.