Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dreams Really Do Come True

American heavy tanks are going back to Europe.

Last spring, I lamented the departure of our last heavy armor from Europe.

But now they are going back, baby! In the European Activity Set (EAS):

What is it?

U.S. Army Europe and its partner organizations are working together to establish the European activity set. The EAS is comprised of equipment from around the globe that is being pre-positioned at Germany's Grafenwoehr training area to enable U.S. regionally aligned forces and multinational partners in Europe to train and operate as the European Response Force and NATO Response Force.

What has the Army done?

USAREUR is providing 70 percent of the equipment for the EAS from stocks of deactivating units, while much of the remainder comes from Army Materiel Command sources in Kuwait, Korea and Italy. The last major pieces -- Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles from Fort Hood, Texas, will arrive in late January and early February.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The EAS and ERF training will provide rotational forces from the U.S. -- a brigade combat team headquarters and battalion-sized task force with enablers -- the opportunity to participate annually in two 60-day training rotations and multinational exercises at USAREUR's world-class Joint Multinational Training Command in Grafenwoehr, Germany, and Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, and at partner nation training areas throughout the U.S. European command area of responsibility. Much of the training will be NRF-focused, as currently the ERF is intended to fulfill NRF force commitments. Elements of Fort Hood's 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, the assigned rotational force for Europe, deployed to Poland in late 2013 to participate in the NATO exercise Steadfast Jazz in support of the NRF, and will return to Europe in May for the first full training rotation there.

This means we will have heavy task force (a battalion reinforced with other assets to be able to operate without higher support, for at least a little bit) equipment kept in Germany where troops along with a brigade headquarters can rotate into NATO Europe to train with our allies.

Perhaps this is how REFORPOL starts.