Polish Combat Engineers yesterday constructed a pontoon bridge at Drawsko Pomorskie to allow US Infantry on ALLIED SPIRIT 20 to conduct a wet gap crossing.
Approximately 6,000 US and Polish soldiers are currently taking part in Exercise ALLIED SPIRIT 20 on the Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area in Poland.
Originally scheduled for May, as a DEFENDER-Europe 20 (DEF20) linked exercise but subsequently modified in response to COVID-19, ALLIED SPIRIT 2020 will test a division-sized unit’s ability to conduct a deliberate water or wet gap crossing, integrate with alliance capabilities and establish a common intelligence operational picture. The primary US formation presently on the ground in western Poland is the 2nd Armoured Brigade Combat Team (2 ABCT) of the 3rd Infantry Division. The Polish engineers who constructed the PP-64 Wstęga (Ribbon) bridge, a derivative of the Soviet PMP ribbon bridge, on DPTA are from the 2nd and 5th Engineer Regiments.
In accordance with the guidance directed by US DoD and the host nations, Germany and Poland, all US soldiers and civilians involved in the exercise completed a 14-day quarantine and were tested for COVID-19 upon arrival; if necessary additional health screenings will be undertaken. Unfortunately current international travel restrictions, plus the requirement to quarantine for 14 days at either end of the assignment, are preventing us from covering ALLIED SPIRIT 20 and what is now being called DEFENDER-Europe 20 Plus. We will, however, try to bring exercise updates as and when US Army photographers’ images become available and where space permits.