First soldiers from the 173rd arrive in Poland

Poland troops

Soldiers with the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team stand in formation April 23 at Swidwin Air Base in Poland. The paratroopers, part of a company-sized contingent, will begin exercises with Polish troops in a series of new training activities throughout the Baltic region. (Photo by Col. Rumi Nielson-Green/Army)

The first soldiers from the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team have arrived in Poland as part of military exercises that are meant to reassure NATO members that border Russia of the alliance’s commitment to defend them.

The soldiers arrived Wednesday at Swidwin Air Base to conduct exercises with the Polish troops that are in addition to regularly scheduled exercises in the region, such as Saber Strike, Rapid Trike and Combined Resolve II, according to a U.S. Army Europe News release.

Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will each receive a company-sized unit with the 173rd, a Defense Department spokesman said on Tuesday. The companies will spend a month conducting live-fire exercises and other training with local military forces, after which they will be replaced by new units. The exercises are expected to continue for the next several months.

For more, see our interactive special report on the U.S. military’s ramp up in Eastern Europe.


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  1. George Colson on

    First Army troops in Viet Nam. Now the first in Eastern Europe. Hooah!
    George Colson B Company 2/503rd Abn Inf, 173rd Abn Bde. 1965-67.

  2. Common Sense on

    What is a lite Airborne CO going to accomplish in Poland? In addition, the CO is based in Europe, so the Reserve force is still stationed in CONUS? The plan sounds more adhoc than logical as Russia would steamroll Poland with their Mech heavy Army. What is required is a Europe pivot with a Division and four brigades. Currently there are two Brigades in Europe, an additional lite and Mechanized Brigade will provide the right firepower to stop Russia long enough for a larger force to respond. The Asian pivot policy is flawed as war in the region is highly unlikely and American military presence in Japan and Australia is a waste; only a logistical unit OPCON/TACON to the ROKA is required to keep the logistical lines of effort open for QRF.

  3. Jack J. Johnstone on

    Working at night, at a rock quarry on the highway between Bien Hoa & Saigon. We had the 173rd protecting our perimiter. We didn’t worry about Viet Cong, not a shot was fired at us. The 173rd would dine in our mess hall. Their distant stares with VC ears tied on leather around their necks, would give any advesary pause. Most of them were ex-82nd and 101st Airborne.

  4. Jack J. Johnstone on

    To have watched them in Vietnam, to have seen the results of the fear they instilled in the Viet Cong, was to see an elite group of fighting men who made it safe for us–while they guarded our perimiter.

  5. Does anyone know if they have landed? My best friend was on his way there early this morning. They were told they would be there for 3 months. Love you bran I’ll keep checking up on you babes<3

  6. I was stationed with HQ SETAF, Vicenza Italy from 1994 to 1997. Very proud to have served the 173rd! We were called the “911” of Europe…….so where’s the emergency now????

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