Smyrna, TN – Approximately 110 Soldiers from the Tennessee Army National Guard’s 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, headquartered in Knoxville, returned to Smyrna’s Volunteer Training Site on Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 following a nine-month long deployment as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Poland.
“This is the last group of Soldiers returning from Poland concluding a two year commitment of Tennessee Soldiers providing a forward presence along the frontier of freedom,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, Tennessee’s Adjutant General.
“We are incredibly proud of the work these Soldiers did and the sacrifices made by their families in support of our national security,” Maj. Gen. Holmes stated.
On January 20, the leadership for the 278th, which commanded the Battle Group, officially transferred responsibility for the mission to the Army’s 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, during a ceremony in Poland. The ceremony completed the 278th’s year-and-a-half long role leading the Battle Group.
The Guardsmen deployed in March 2019 as part of the regiment’s second Task Force to serve in Poland in support of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) mission. They supported the 278th’s 3rd Squadron, part of the Pennsylvania National Guard, headquartered in Danville.
The first Task Force was comprised of the 278th’s 2nd Squadron headquartered in Cookeville. They were deployed from July 2018 to May 2019.
Each task force consisted of over 850 Soldiers from armories across the state.
They formed battalion sized battle groups with additional personnel supplied by multinational Allies during their nine month rotations.
The 278th is the largest unit in Tennessee and one of only five armored brigade combat teams in the National Guard. Through the Army’s force planning process, they were identified as the unit best suited to contribute to the eFP battle group in Poland.