USACAPOC(A) Soldiers participate in Polish firearms collectors convention

By Story by Pvt. Joanna Gaona Gomez, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment | USACAPOC | June 10, 2019

POZNAN, POLAND — The Zbrojownia Firearms Collectors Association and other Organizers hosted the annual Firearms Collectors Convention at Fort VI Tietzen, Poznan, Poland, on June 1, 2019.

The Zbrojownia firearms Collectors Association partnered with the 407th Civil Affairs Battalion and 396th Composite Truck Company to provide current U.S. Army equipment and firearms.

Fort IV Tietzen, commonly referred to as Fort Poznan, was opened to more than 5,000 visitors who enjoyed numerous activities, such as guided tours describing the history of the firearms on display, presentation of military vehicles and equipment and a museum dedicated to the fort’s tumultuous history.

There were also reenactments of various battles that occurred throughout history, which were performed by actors.

The theme of the event revolved around the bond shared by Poland and the United States, who have historically fought side-by-side in a variety of engagements highlighted during the weapons exhibition.

Privately owned military vehicles and weapons dating back to the First World War were available to the patrons to examine. Re-enactors and volunteers provided vehicle tours for visitors, where they were able to ride in these classic vehicles around the outside of the fort.

“We want to present a good image of U.S. forces because it’s important that we have that relationship with our hosts. We hope to accomplish while working with the polish military greater interoperability because we are all members of NATO,” said Maj. Brett Thompson, B Company, 407th Civil Affairs Battalion commander.

The fort is part of a collection of fortifications built in the city of Poznan in the 19th and early 20th century. The 407th Civil Affairs Battalion and 396th Composite Truck Company provided a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (M-ATV) and a High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), which was made available for Polish Citizens to explore the equipment.

“I’ve been working with the United States Army for quite a few years now, different units and it’s always been very fruitful. I’m happy we managed to get this camaraderie going, I’m very happy that the U.S. forces have a permanent presence here in Poland,” said Bart Norman, the event organizer.

U.S. Soldiers and Polish citizens shared meals and laughs as the festivities carried on through the day. The Soldiers and actors swapped weapons, explored each other’s vehicles and posed for pictures demonstrating the bond shared between the two countries.

“I hope to represent the United States of America and our partnership with the Polish. It’s very important that we work together to build our interoperability and work for a stronger Europe,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Samantha Morgan, the operations non-commissioned officer for B Company, 407th Civil Affairs Battalion.