By Pvt. Joanna Gaona Gomez
5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Poznan Fortress Days, a two-day holiday commemorating Poznan’s Fortresses, opened with a bang as gun fire echoed off the old brick walls of Fort IV. This is the seventh annual celebration of Poznan Fortress Days, which occurred on August 24- 25 and highlighted over 20 different locations and attractions related to Poznan Fortifications from the Middle Ages to the present day.
This year U.S. Soldiers participated in this event, bringing U.S. military vehicles and equipment. They were able to set-up a night vision goggles stand and static display at Fort IV Tietzen, commonly referred to as Fort Poznan, which is part of a collection of fortifications built in the city of Poznan in the 19th and early 20th century.
Fort Poznan was opened to thousands of visitors who enjoyed numerous activities, such as, Laser shooting simulator, precision shooting, presentation of military vehicles and equipment, a museum dedicated to the fort’s tumultuous history as well as reenactments of various battles that occurred throughout history, which were performed by actors.
Polish citizens gathered around the U.S. Army’s static display consisting of approximately 30 Soldiers, military vehicles, and equipment from various units stationed in Poland. The spectators were able to wear the military equipment, take photos with Soldiers and climb inside the U.S. Army’s vehicles.
Every time U.S. Forces participate in events like these, it strengthens its bonds and builds new and lasting friendships with its partners and allies. As the militaries grow closer, it also provides an opportunity for the public to gain an understanding of how the U.S. Army works and how the U.S. Army’s presence in Poland is a positive.
“An event like this is important to show that we care and that we aren't here as a threat but more so as protection of our partners and allies,” said Pfc. Mark Brown, 543rd Composite Supply Company.
The U.S. Army has attended events such as Constitution Day, the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising and multiple other events around the nation to help build relations not only between the two militaries but also with the public.
“We are here as a static display in order to demonstrate solidarity with our Polish allies,” said Maj. Brett Thompson, B Company commander, 407th Civil Affairs Battalion. “Poland is continuing to be a strong ally and we’re continuing to build that international relationship.”