07:45 GMT +312 December 2017
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    Soldiers walk near U.S. military equipment which arrived as part of NATO mission at port in Gdansk, Poland

    US Ships Tanks Directly to Poland for First Time for Future Deployments

    © REUTERS/ Agencja Gazeta/Bartosz Banka
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    Amid the massive deployment of US troops and hardware to Poland, the Pentagon has practiced shipping tanks directly to the eastern European state.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Army has shipped tanks directly to Poland for the first time with the rotation of an armored brigade, to gauge the ability of the nation’s Gdansk port’s ability to handle large military shipments, the Department of Defense announced in a press release on Friday.

    "This is the first replacement of troops as part of continuing 'heel-to-toe' rotations to maintain a US armored brigade in Europe, as well as the first time tanks have arrived directly in Poland by sea," the release stated.

    Commander of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command Maj. Gen. Steven Shapiro said that using Gdansk helps test the Army's capacity, the capacity of the port, and to make sure that the Army knows how to operate inside of Poland.

    Polish leadership also observed the unloading and staging of tracked and wheeled vehicles, including 87 M1 Abrams tanks, 103 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 18 Paladin self-propelled Howitzers and other trucks and equipment, the release said.

    Earlier this week, US troops and military equipment arrived in the city of Gdansk for the deployment in eastern Europe as part of the Operation Atlantic Resolve, which was launched to boost NATO's military presence in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland following the eruption of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014 with the Western countries using alleged Russian interference in Ukrainian affairs as a pretext.

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    Tags:
    tanks, NATO, Gdansk, United States, Poland
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