CAMP KARLIKI, Poland — Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the commander of the U.S. European Command and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO Allied Command Operations, visited Camp Karliki, Poland, Sep. 22.
The general flew in for a visit with Soldiers and to attend a brief on the incoming unit, 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, regarding the unit's progress into Europe and plans to move forward.
The incoming unit and the outgoing unit, 4th Infantry Division, are in Europe, operating under Atlantic Resolve. Atlantic Resolve demonstrates the U.S. commitment to NATO by rotating U.S. -based units through the European theater and training with NATO partners and Allies.
Moving onto the camp, Gen. Scaparrotti began lunch by shaking each Soldier's hand with a brief conversation. Throughout the lunch meal of meals, ready to eat, bread and breakfast cereal, Scaparrotti rotated between the three tables. He sat down with several groups, discussing topics related to the mission. He also informed Soldiers of upcoming training events.
For 1st ID Soldiers, who prepared for the rotation by renewing skills like dismount techniques, patrol procedures and clearing buildings, the news was a relief. It means testing skills and knowledge and training with their counterparts, in foreign environments.
As a Soldier who has been in Kuwait and is currently in Poland, Sgt. Julius Shorter, infantryman, 3rd platoon, Carnage Company, 270th Armor Battalion, 2nd Brigade, recognizes the importance of training in unfamiliar locations and climates.
"You can almost simulate anything but actually getting out there on the ground and doing it for real, which gives you a feel for it," Shorter said. "Getting out here, being able to train in country, makes us that much more effective on what we may face."
Visits from leadership promote security and confidence as the leaders can address questions regarding training and the mission. The Soldiers are a source of feedback for concerns.
Transitioning from the dining hall into the meeting room, Gen. Scaparrotti was introduced to eight Soldiers, four from 4th Infantry DIvision and four from 1st Infantry Division. The Soldiers were applauded for exemplary behavior and performance, prior to or during their unit's rotation. Scaparrotti awarded each Soldier a coin for his or her noteworthy actions.
Sitting down, unit commanders and command sergeant majors began the meeting with Scaparrotti.
The brief covered the transition between the two units, the mission objective, training events and future plans. The brief discussed concerns and actions taken or to be taken to address them.
For Pvt. Kaleb Coops, dismounted cavalry scout, scout platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, the visit was beneficial to understanding the overall concept and its implementation.
A lot of training happens, Coops said. The younger enlisted may not see or recognize the massive effect as the leaders, since they view things in a broader spectrum.
"We talked about the general mission that Americans, as we serve in the U.S. Army, what we're supposed to do," Coops said. "That is, to provide training and opportunity for other people around the world and ourselves, to get better."