Polish Pivot

A pair of C-130J airlifters deployed the first wave of Army paratroopers to Poland on Wednesday as part of NATO’s commitment to increase forces in Eastern Europe following recent Russian aggression in Ukraine, officials announced. Airlifters from Ramstein AB, Germany, ferried roughly 150 members of the Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade from Aviano AB, Italy, to Swidwin AB, Poland, for exercises with their Polish counterparts on April 23, US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa announced via Facebook. “The soldiers will conduct joint NATO training, the first in a series of expanded US land force training activities in Poland and the Baltic region scheduled for the next few months,” USAFE-AFAFRICA officials said. Several additional company-sized elements of 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team will deploy over the next few days and weeks for exercises with NATO partners Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, officials added. Ramstein C-130s just returned from exercises with the Polish air force, including air drop and paratroop insertion, earlier this month, according to a release.