Soldiers with the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) stand in formation during a ceremony commemorating new exercises at Widwin Air Base, Poland, on April 23. (Army)
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Location: Swidwin, in northwest Poland near the German border and the Baltic coast, was recently tapped to host a company of U.S. Army soldiers from the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team out of Vicenza, Italy. The air base is located in a mostly rural region and is easily resupplied from land or sea.
Mission: U.S. Army soldiers will train with Polish troops not far from the enclave of Kaliningrad, an island of Russian territory between Poland and the Baltics that is the homeport for the Russian navyís Baltic fleet. In the Soviet era, the Russian military garrisoned more than 100,000 troops and a nuclear arsenal in Kaliningrad.
Lifestyle: Soldiers pulling month-long rotations at Swidwin will find it cold for most of the year, though near beaches in the summer. Itís about a three-hour drive from Berlin, a capital city historically known for lively and edgy nightlife.