Wednesday, March 27, 2019


Equipment for an American heavy brigade will go to Poland. REFORPOL begins.

This is sadly needed given Russia's decade of aggression:

NATO on Saturday confirmed it plans a storage facility for US military equipment in Poland, as the alliance steps up its defences in the face of increased Russian assertiveness.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the $260 million facility will be located in Powidz, some 200 km (120 miles) west of Warsaw, and will house armoured vehicles, ammunition and weapons for a brigade.

It will take a couple years to establish.

More than a decade ago after Russia went medieval on Georgia, I called for such a program modeled on the REturn of FORces to GERmany (REFORGER) storage program that covered the withdrawal of some units back to the United States. I suggested REFORPOL:

In addition to maintaining sufficient forces deployed in Europe able to move east to reinforce the eastern European NATO frontline states, we should establish American, British, and German equipment depots for additional heavy brigades in southern Poland. If we can fly in troops to man these forces, in a return of forces to Poland (REFORPOL) concept, we'd enhance deterrence without forward deploying powerful NATO offensive units that would scare the Russians in reality instead of their faux fear of Georgians and Latvians. Those units could swing north or south or stay put once manned and fielded.

Now I won't count on the Germans. But the British could join us. I assume ultimately we'll build up to 3 American armored brigades plus supporting units.

Obviously no "return" of forces is part of this. Maybe "REaction FORces to POLand keeps the acronym.

Oh, and as the Army returns its focus to Europe, recall that long before even Russia's invasion of Georgia that I called for the Army, in Military Review (pages 15-20), to retain the framework for a corps in Europe in order to maintain a credible warfighting option in case Russia went bad again.

UPDATE: NATO's common fund is paying for this and the site will be one of five:

U.S. defense sources cautioned that the Powidz storage site should not be taken to mean that the Trump administration is considering any kind of permanent troop footprint in Poland. For now, Washington is simply treating the facility as one of five sites across Europe capable of scrambling together the equipment to make up an armored division when needed.

Note that an armored division is made up of three maneuver brigades plus supporting units.