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U.S. Army formally activates V Corps in Poland

The U.S. Army on Friday held a ceremony opening the new V Corps headquarters in Poznan, Poland, five months after Poland and the United States met to establish the corps' new presence. Photo courtesy of Government of Poland
The U.S. Army on Friday held a ceremony opening the new V Corps headquarters in Poznan, Poland, five months after Poland and the United States met to establish the corps' new presence. Photo courtesy of Government of Poland

Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army formally activated a forward headquarters in Poznan, Poland, on Friday, to command its missions in Eastern Europe.

About 200 troops will initially be assigned to the forward position of the recently reactivated and storied Fifth Corps, or V Corps, whose headquarters was established in October at Fort Knox, Ky.

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The unit at Poznan will be responsible for command and control of assigned and rotational units of U.S. Army Europe and U.S. European Command as troops, it said in a statement on Thursday.

Full rotations are expected to start in 2021, likely around the time of the DEFENDER-Europe 21 exercise planned for the Balkan and Black Sea regions.

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V Corps was first activated in 1918, and fought in the Lorraine, St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne campaigns of World War I, earning the nickname "Victory Corps." In World War II it participated in the D-Day invasion and liberation of Europe and later defended served in Europe during the Cold War.

V Corps also saw service in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan before it was deactivated in 2013.

Although Poland, a NATO ally, no longer shares a border with Russia, the forward position in Poznan, a city of about 535,000 people and a history dating to medieval times, will place U.S. troops within 200 miles of the Poland-Belarus border.

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"We have a strong relationship with our Polish allies and appreciate the outstanding support they provide to our rotational soldiers," Lt. Gen. John. S. Kolasheski, V Corps commanding general, said in September.

"As we stand up the V Corps forward command post in Poznan we look forward to strengthening that relationship as we work together to build readiness and enhance interoperability between our militaries and those of our allies and partners," he added.

The new forward command post is part of an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between Poland and the United States, finalized on July 31. Polish President Andrzej Duda formally ratified the pact on Nov. 9.

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