ORZYSZ, Poland — In a clearing in the forests some 40 miles from the Russian border, the rattle of American machine-gun fire and distant thud of grenades was intended to send clear messages.
To European allies, it was a reassurance that America will protect them; to Russia, a warning that any attack would incur a direct response from the U.S. military.
"To show the flag out here is reassuring to our allies," Capt. Craig Hymel told NBC News on a visit to the firing range in Poland last week. "We’re showing, by all of us being here, that we’re all committed to the collective defense of NATO against any aggressor."
Hymel is a commander with the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, a unit of about 1,000 U.S. troops that redeployed from Germany to Poland in March.
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