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BRIDGING THE VISTULA ~ 23 Amphibious Engineer Troop

German and British M3 amphibious rigs interlinked to form a 345-metre long floating bridge for US armour and vehicles over the Vistula in Poland [© Bob Morrison]

Every two years the Polish Armed Forces mount Exercise ANAKONDA, which aims to: “confirm the readiness of headquarters, commands, staffs and troops with regard to planning and conducting defensive operations with the support/participation of Allied Forces”.

With around 31,000 troops from two dozen NATO Alliance and partner nations taking part, Exercise ANAKONDA ’16 was said by the Polish Ministry of Defence to be “one of the greatest exercises carried out in Poland [over the last] 25 years”. British Army Infantry, Air Assault and Royal Engineer formations all participated and we commence our exercise coverage with a feature on the latter.

anakonda16-logoTo expand the breadth of ANAKONDA ’16, which was a Polish Invitational exercise rather than a NATO exercise, varioust NATO and/or USAREUR field training exercises, including BALTOPS, SABER STRIKE, BRILLIANT JUMP and SWIFT RESPONSE etc., were deliberately choreographed into the early June time frame with FTX (field training exercise) phases taking place on Polish soil. The US Army’s DRAGOON RIDE II, which saw the 2nd Calvary Regiment transit by road with its Stryker fleet from its base at Vilseck in Germany to Latvia, by way of Poland and Lithuania, to participate on SABER STRIKE ’16, was one of those simultaneous exercises.

To assist the 2 CAV battlegroup cross the northernmost stretch of the sweeping bow in the Vistula River at Chełmno, about one hour to the east of Bydgoszcz, on the morning of 8th June a combined formation of British and German amphibious engineers from a Multinational Engineer Battalion, which also included Polish, Dutch and American sappers, built a floating bridge across the 345 metre wide fast-flowing waterway…..

To read all of Bob Morrison’s report see the
September 2016 issue of COMBAT & SURVIVAL Magazine,
which went on sale in both print and digital formats today.

 

bridging-the-vistula

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