The recently deployed American troops in Poland have held military drills along with their Polish counterparts as part of a training routine. The brief drills involved ground troops, tanks and armoured vehicles of both the armies.
The 3,500-strong US forces were dispatched as part of the Western world's biggest deployment in Europe in decades earlier in January. The move has already ruffled the feathers of Russia which sees the step as a threat to its national security.
"The best way to make sure there is never an attack [potentially from Russia] and I believe it's unlikely, and the best way to keep it unlikely is to show strong, deterrent capability," Lieutenant General Ben Hodges told reporters.
The drills took place in Zagan simulating "enemy" advancement. Anti-aircraft weaponry and helicopters were also part of the exercises.
"Poland will become the centre of gravity for US operations in Europe. We believe an attack from the east is unlikely, but it's having troops on the ground here that makes it even more unlikely," said Hodges. The troops are being stationed on a rotational basis. After the drills, the troops will be redistributed across the Baltic nations.
Polish President Andrzej Duda and US ambassador to Poland Paul Jones observed the drills. The Polish leader said the presence of US troops in his country boosts not just regional security but also bilateral ties between the US and Poland.
The deployment, comprising 87 battle tanks, 144 Bradley fighting vehicles along with the 3,500 US troops, was agreed during a summit in Warsaw in July 2016. The decision was intended to beef up Nato's military buildup in the region to counter increasing assertions from Russia.
Washington has set in motion what is known as Operation Atlantic Resolve to show its commitment to the transatlantic alliance ever since the Ukraine's Crimean peninsula became part of Russia in April 2014.