U.S. Reserve Soldiers engineer bonds with Polish forces during Resolute Castle 2019

By Pvt. Joanna Gaona Gomez | 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment | Aug. 2, 2019

DRAWSKO POMORSKIE, POLAND —

Soldiers from the United States Army Reserve and Polish soldiers gathered August 1, 2019, at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area (DPTA), Poland, during the closing ceremony for Resolute Castle 19 (RC19), a joint exercise that took place from April to August 2019. 

This was the second year Poland hosted this multinational, joint exercise where engineers from both countries came together to construct multiple healthcare facilities, administrative buildings and a fuel supply point, which helped reinforce regional partnerships and promote interoperability with the host nation forces. The fuel point also strengthens defense capabilities for the Polish and American forces in the region to effectively move vehicles to strategic locations throughout the country.

“Resolute Castle exemplifies the strength of the U.S. [and] Poland Strategic Partnership,” said Brig. Gen. James Kokaska, the deputy commander of the 416th Engineer Command. “The Resolute Castle exercise helps us develop interoperability by training together in a multinational environment allowing everyone involved to become more familiar with each other’s technologies, techniques, and procedures.” 

RC19 provided U.S. Soldiers with the ability to develop communication skills and understanding of allied and partner nations, as well as giving the Soldiers hands-on training to improve their job proficiency during the training exercise. 

Over the four months RC19 took place, engineer units from across the United States came in groups of approximately 100, in order to work together and construct buildings from the ground up. Seven rotations of Reserve Soldiers came through DPTA to participate in RC19, totaling over 700 Soldiers, contributed to building two healthcare facilities, two administrative buildings and a fuel point in the short span of the exercise. 

All of the officers and enlisted Soldiers involved in RC19 did their part to make sure it was an astounding success. Horizontal construction engineers, geospatial engineers, electricians and various other Soldiers with different military occupational specialties were all important and invaluable to the completion of the projects.

“Over the last four months of this exercise, engineer units from across the united states working hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder with our Poland land partners and have contributed to very important projects here at DPTA,” said Kokaska. “ We not only build physical structures, we also build something just as important; we build friendships and strong partnerships as we work together, collaboratively solving problems and working through challenges together.” 

U.S. and Polish forces are aiming to maintain a healthy alliance with exercises, such as RC19, to send a clear message that the U.S., along with its allies and partners, skillfully work together to build a collective defense.

When the training exercise wraps up in the fall, the joint forces will have built four administrative buildings, a fuel point and international relationships, which help strengthen Poland’s defenses in the event of an attack by potential adversaries.

“No nation can confront today’s challenges alone [and] Resolute Castle builds key partnerships and enhances interoperability making us stronger as a team and prepared for whatever the future holds,” said Kokaska.

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