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Polish president visits Fort Stewart, thanks 3rd ID
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President Andrzej Duda and Brig. Gen. Jeremy Wilson listen as the 3rd Infantry Division Band plays the national anthem of Poland.

The bond between southeast Georgia and the nation of Poland grew stronger amid the dust and smoke of a live-fire training exercise Wednesday.

With troops from the 3rd Infantry Division stationed in Poland as part of a larger effort to deter further Russian aggression in Eastern and Central Europe, Polish President Andrzej Duda visited the 3rd ID’s home and spoke with 3rd ID soldiers and leaders.

“It’s an incredible opportunity and we’re incredibly grateful for President Duda’s time,” said Brig. Gen. Jeremy Wilson, the 3rd ID’s deputy commanding general for maneuver. “To have him here to spend time with the soldiers back here is incredible.”

Brig. Gen. Wilson also noted President Duda has visited 3rd ID soldiers on duty in his home country.

“Fort Stewart, the largest Army base in the Southeast, is truly the salt of the Earth,” President Duda said. “I am grateful to see the equipment, live fire exercise, and the strength of the U.S. Army.”

Soldiers from the 1/64 Armor Battalion, accompanied by AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, put on a live-fire demonstration for President Duda. The Polish leader watched from atop an observation tower as M1A2 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley fighting vehicles unleashed their firepower on targets at Red Cloud Golf, complete with the Bradleys discharging a smoke screen to cover the advance of the speeding Abrams.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase a lot of our capability and capacity,” Brig. Gen. Wilson said.

Prior to the live-fire exercise, 3rd ID leaders showed him their command post and its network, and he even got a look from atop an Abrams tank.

“I am deeply grateful we have been able to see the display of the military equipment and that also we have been able to witness the live-fire exercises which demonstrate the strength of the U.S. Army,” President Duda added.

Back in Poland, Marne Division soldiers have been training alongside their Polish brethren and with their counterparts from other NATO allies. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Division Artillery and Division Sustainment Brigade are nearing the end of their nine-month deployment.

President Duda’s visited coincided with the 25th anniversary of Poland’s acceptance into NATO. Poland, along with Hungary and the then Czech Republic, was one of the first former Warsaw Pact nations to join the western alliance. NATO recently accepted Finland and Sweden for membership.

Poland is buying Abrams tanks and Apache helicopters for its armed forces. Its incoming Apaches will replace the Soviet-era attack helicopters it sent to Ukraine for its defense against the ongoing Russian invasion.

“This is something that is going to strengthen our military potential exponentially and I am glad to say that,” President Duda said of the advanced Abrams tanks going to his nation.

Poland is buying 96 Apache helicopters, and the Polish president said he was glad the White House made the announcement Tuesday of the deal.

“They are the best possible military asset in the world and I am glad Poland is receiving them,” President Duda said.

President Duda will be in Brussels, Belgium, at NATO headquarters to mark Poland’s joining the alliance 25 years ago. The 3rd ID troops in Poland are scheduled to return to Fort Stewart later this spring and early summer.

President Duda also offered his gratitude for the troops serving at Fort Stewart and for the U.S. service members, and those from other NATO allies, deployed to his nation.

“Thank you for being in Poland. Thank you for guarding our security,” he said. “The presence of U.S. soldiers in Poland, in our country, is a symbol, a symbol of freedom and a symbol of security. Thank you to all the U.S. soldiers, and God bless you.”


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Polish President Andrzej Duda gets an upclose look at a M1A2 Abrams tank Wednesday.
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Polish President Andrzej Duda delivers remarks with a backdrop of a M1A2 Abrams tank and a M2 Bradley fighting vehicle at Fort Stewart’s Red Cloud Golf firing range Wednesday.
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An AH-64 Apache helicopter fires its 30mm chain gun as a M1A2 Abrams tank advances below during Wednesday’s live-fire demonstration for Andrzej Duda, president of Poland.
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