POWIDZ AIR BASE, Poland – The Honorable Ryan McCarthy, acting secretary of the Army, visited U.S. Soldiers here Sept. 1.
Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran and Maj. Gen. Timothy McGuire, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Europe, visited along with McCarthy. The purpose of the visit was to support units abroad and to talk with Soldiers to get a better understanding of the region.
The notable guests arrived at 10th Combat Aviation Brigade’s maintenance hangar at 33rd Air Base, near Powidz, for a briefing from Col. Clair Gill, commander of 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (LI), who spoke on the unit’s mission and presence in Poland. Gill also covered coordination with units in allied countries and actions to comply with European standards.
Soldiers of the 10th CAB, as well as supporting companies and reserve component units, are currently in Europe to support Operation Atlantic Resolve, a U.S. endeavor to fulfill NATO commitments by rotating units through the European theater.
The unit took the opportunity to introduce the visitors to several Soldiers from 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade. The unit currently supports the 10th CAB in its nine-month-long rotation in the European theater, fulfilling NATO obligations. The intent was to recognize the roles the Soldiers played in 10th CAB’s missions and success.
McCarthy spoke to the Soldiers about the importance of preserving the "long standing body of the NATO alliance." He also commented on national objectives and expressed appreciation for the service of the Soldiers before departing the hangar.
Moving onward to the dining facility, McCarthy and Moran ate at separate tables with four Soldiers and National Guardsmen. Throughout the course of the meal, conversation flowed between the distinguished visitors and the service members. Conversation around the table ranged from hometowns and education to the Soldiers’ training and daily life. The Soldiers and National Guardsmen inquired about concerns regarding the shift from temporary duty station to field duty status and a request for more availability of vegetarian-friendly meals.
While the units took an opportunity to let junior-enlisted Soldiers shine, it does serve a purpose, suggested Lt. Col. Coleman Johnson, commander of the 497th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 55th Sustainment Brigade, U.S. Army Reserve.
"It’s important to recognize Soldiers, so they’ll feel some ownership of the mission and some ownership of being part of the Army," Johnson said.
The purpose of the visit for McCarthy and Moran was to display how funds provided to the military are used and the types of missions the funds support, he said. For the Soldiers, these visits help form a better understanding of how the Army operates; there is a much bigger system the Army answers to that looks to make strategic decisions as the military makes tactical decisions.