US army to test emergency deployment readiness in Poland

Around 500 soldiers of the US armored forces deployed to Europe as part of the Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise (EDRE) will exercise at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, north-west Poland, from July 14 to August 23, the Polish Defence Ministry said on Friday.

The drills are to test the US army's ability to rapidly alert, recall and deploy its forces under emergency conditions in various settings and conditions. Its other goal is to check the readiness to transfer troops across the Atlantic Ocean as part of allied assistance to European countries.

"The US troops exercise at the Polish training ground in Drawsko Pomorskie is another opportunity to deepen cooperation at the tactical level between US and Polish soldiers," the statement on the website of the Defence Ministry wrote.

The EDRE is part of the scaled-down version of Defender-Europe 20, a series of events that was intended to be among the largest in 25 years US army training exercises on the continent, the aim of which is to demonstrate the military’s ability to move large numbers of forces and equipment from the US to Europe. However, due to the coronavirus epidemic, many of the activities connected to Defender were cancelled because of health concerns.

Initially planned for May, a combined Allied Spirit exercise involving about 4,000 US troops and 2,000 Polish troops was conducted at Drawsko Pomorskie training ground in June as part of the large-scale Defender exercises.

According to Friday's statement, all necessary coronavirus prevention and mitigation measures will be taken during the upcoming drills to ensure the safety of participating soldiers and the local community."

EDRE involves moving 55 Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles from a US army storage site in Germany to Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area.