The U.S. Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division will jump into Poland next month in a test of their ability to bolster NATO’s eastern flank in a hurry. It will also be a test of the ability of their new all-terrain vehicles to get them quickly out of the drop zone.
Col. Colin Tuley, commander of the 1st BCT, said the jump over Torun, Poland, by a battalion of about 600 of his paratroopers was meant to demonstrate the "readiness and deployability" of the Global Response Force to shore up allies and meet any threat worldwide on quick notice.
Tuley, a veteran of multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and the former deputy commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment, skirted the question of whether the threat in the particular case of the Swift Response 16 exercise in Poland was Russia.
The goal was to show "really a united front — for whatever reason," Tuley said in a phone interview from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home of the 82nd, with Pentagon reporters.
"It could be to conduct peacekeeping, it could be how do you respond to heavy immigration challenges in Europe," he said. "It’s really just a symbol of a united front amongst alliances and their partners."
Tuley’s battalion will take off from Fort Bragg and rig in the air on the 10-hour flight on June 6, the anniversary of the World War II D-Day…