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Operation Atlantic Resolve; Eindhoven, October 25 – 27, 2017

The 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, part 2; Text and Photograph's by Alex van Noye

Since the Russian intervention in the eastern part of The Ukraine, the European armed forces are in a major state of preparedness in eastern Europe. To support European troops, the United States is helping Europe during the Operation Atlantic Resolve to prove their NATO solidarity to Europe and it military force.

Operation "Atlantic Resolve" is the support package of the United States for Europe and provides the continuous involvement in the collective security of this continent. The operation is intended to assure that NATO allies and partners have the American commitment to sustainable peace and stability in the region surrounding the Russian intervention in Ukraine. Since April 2014, the United States Army Europe has deployed land forces on behalf of the US Army. During this deployment, non-stop multinational training and safety cooperation activities with allies and partners in Eastern Europe will be carried out. These multinational activities take place in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary. The joint exercises which are carried out will improve the interoperability and strengthen the relationships and trust between the Allied armies. The exercises also contribute to regional stability and they show the involvement of the United States in NATO. Operation "Atlantic Resolve" shows the commitment of the United States to the safety of the NATO allies in the air, on land and at sea. To ensure its own security, the NATO must have strong, dedicated and capable allies. In order to achieve this security on the continent, the United States has been fighting, practicing and training with the European allies for more than 70 years. The strategic partnership between the United States and Europe is based on shared values, experiences and commitments to a stable and prosperous Europe.

The US Army also made a significant contribution to Operation Atlantic Resolve in the year 2017. The US Army rotations generally last each time for nine months. With the presence of American troops, the United States Army is able to strike adequately and quickly when a crisis occurs in Europe or at its borders. The US detachments participate in many exercises and integrate this into the European defense, so that they can act together and decisively. The 4th Infantry Division is based in Poznan in Poland and coordinates the safety of Poland from this headquarters. The 3rd Armored

Brigade Combat Team which is part of the 4th Infantry Division has been based in Europe since January 2017. This unit comes from Fort Carson in Colorado and brought many vehicles to Europe during the deployment. The 3rd Armored Brigade has more than 3,500 soldiers, 87 tanks, 18 Paladins, 419 Humvees, 144 Bradley vehicles and over 446 tracked vehicles and 907 normal vehicles with 650 trailers in Europe. In addition to being present in Europe, the military force also remains well trained in the continuous relocation of entire divisions from and towards Europe. In addition to the 4th Infantry Division, the 497th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion is also active in Europe. This unit has more than 750 troops and more than 160 vehicles in Europe to support the logistics aspect around Operation Atlantic Resolve.

The 10th Combat Aviation Brigade which is part of the 10th Mountain Division was almost entirely present on the European mainland during the deployment to Europe. The unit which normally resides on Fort Drum in the US state of New York was stationed at various locations in Europe from the beginning of February. In February the entire brigade arrived in Europe through various channels. The equipment consisted of helicopters and also many vehicles arrived in the ports of Antwerp in Belgium, in Bremerhaven in Germany and in Thessaloniki in Greece. The personnel arrived via the airports of Riga in Latvia and Ramstein Air Base and Nürnberg both in Germany. The 10th CAB detachment consisted of more than 2200 troops which were all stationed in Europe for over nine months. The US deployment consisted of more than 86 helicopters in total. The group of helicopters of the 10th CAB deployment consisted of 12x CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters, 38x UH-60L/M Blackhawk transport helicopters, 12x HH-60M Blackhawk medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) helicopters and finally 24x AH-64D Apache attack helicopters. Because the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion of the 10th CAB had been deployed shortly before, the Apache component was replaced during the Atlantic Resolve deployment by the 1st Battalion of the 501st Aviation Regiment of the 1st Armored Division, from Fort Bliss in Texas. The temporary headquarters of the entire brigade was located in Illesheim in Germany. This important American army base would be the camp from which all helicopters would be spread throughout Europe.

After the unit arrived in Illesheim, the 10th CAB would be distributed to a large extent in a number of Eastern European countries. The largest detachments of the 10th CAB were in countries such as Latvia and Romania. In these countries the brigade had a constant presence of helicopters and troops which can be used continuously in the context of Atlantic Resolve. This means that these units can be used directly for the Quick Response Force in these countries. At Lielvarde Air Base in Latvia was a continuous detachment of at least five UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and over 50 soldiers. A detachment of the same composition was also continuously present at the Romanian airbase Mihail Kogainiceanu in the east of the country in the Black Sea area. There was also a team in Poland which had to increase safety there. In addition to providing support to these countries, the units of the 10th CAB have also been intensively trained with the military units of Latvia, Poland and Romania. Through these trainings the strength of the American and European cooperation is shown to Russia. Interoperability between all international teams is also greatly improved. The largest exercise in which the 10th CAB was participating was Saber Guardian in Bulgaria. In addition to the major exercises, the regiment also provided support for the US President's visit to Israel and a MEDEVAC deployment in Georgia during the deployment in Europe. In October 2017, the deployment of the 10th CAB was completed and the unit was relieved from duty.

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