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Army’s resurrected V Corps will go to Poland

The Army’s reactivated corps headquarters in Europe, called V Corps, will have a forward location in Poland, the Army chief of staff announced Tuesday.

Gen. James McConville went to Poland this week to promote V Corps’ commander, Maj. Gen. John Kolasheski, to the rank of lieutenant general and officially unfurl the headquarters’ flag. Kolasheski last commanded the 1st Infantry Division.

About 630 soldiers will be assigned to V Corps. Two hundred of them will man the forward headquarters in Poland on a rotational basis. The rest will remain at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

An Army Europe official told Army Times the service is still “unaware of the exact location” that V Corps will be set up in the country, and could “only confirm that it will be in Poland.” Before its deactivation seven years ago, V Corps was based in Germany.

The first command post rotation is expected to start in fiscal 2021. V Corps’ primary mission will be operational planning, mission command and oversight of the rotational forces in Europe.

“The activation of an additional Corps headquarters provides the needed level of command and control focused on synchronizing U.S. Army, allied, and partner nation tactical formations operating in Europe,” McConville said in a statement.

V Corps’ forward presence was codified in the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which was announced late last week and provides the legal framework for hosting U.S. troops.

The agreement added 1,000 personnel to the U.S. military’s rotational presence in Poland, which already stands at about 4,500 individuals.

V Corps was first activated during World War I and remained operational until 2013, when it was deactivated in Wiesbaden, Germany. The Army called the deactivation “a major milestone in U.S. Army Europe’s transformation to a more agile force” according to an archived news release from that time.

The deactivation of V Corps was originally announced in 2004 and finalized in 2012. Following political upheaval in Ukraine and the Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, tensions in Eastern Europe were once again in the spotlight. And in 2014, the U.S. military stepped up its rotational presence to Europe in an effort to reassure NATO allies.

The Army currently has three other corps headquarters: I Corps at Joint Base Lewis- McChord, Washington; III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas; and XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected. The 200 troops assigned to Poland will come out of the 630 total within V Corps.

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