The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, based out of Fort Stewart, Georgia, has formally taken command of the Army task force in Poland and the Baltic states, stepping in for the 4th Infantry Division, as part of temporary rotations in support of European allies.
The announcement of the change of responsibility did not mention Russia or Ukraine, but it’s the latest in a string of deployments aimed at deterring further military action by Russia since it began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
“Once again, we have the privilege of standing together with our Polish allies, the Baltic States, and the rest of NATO,” said Maj. Gen. Christopher Norrie, the 3rd Infantry Division commanding general. “We have stood shoulder-to-shoulder against tyranny and oppression, and we pray that this alliance will continue to be a beacon of hope for all who yearn for freedom and justice around the world.”
With the changeover of troops at the Sept. 9 ceremony in Boleslawiec, Poland, came a change of names, from Task Force Ivy to Task Force Marne, in reference to the 3rd Infantry Division’s unit motto, “Rock of the Marne.” The saying dates back to the division’s service during World War I.
“The 3rd Infantry Division deployed as rotational forces to support NATO allies, deter further aggression against NATO member states, and train with host-nation forces to build readiness and interoperability,” Lt. Col. Matt Fontaine, a spokesman for the 3rd Infantry Division told Army Times.
Task Force Marne will serve in support of European Assure, Deter, and Reinforce efforts. The task force includes armor, infantry, aviation, and logistics units spread across the Baltic region and Poland, and will work with NATO allies in the region, according to an Army press release.
Roughly 4,500 soldiers under the 3rd Infantry Division will deploy across various locations in Europe in support of the mission, which is “to work alongside NATO allies and regional security partners to provide combat-credible forces to V Corps, America’s forward deployed corps in Europe.”
The V Corps Standards Book describes the mission as such: “In February of 2022 V Corps answered the Nation’s call again and deployed to the European Theater in support of the European Assure, Deter and Reinforce operation as TF Victory following Russia’s incursion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.”
The Task Force Marne troops will join 2,000 others from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade who are currently deployed there.
James is the editor of Army Times and a Marine Corps veteran.