Elbląg, Poland - On the parade square, at Podchorążych 1 Street, the history of the Multinational Division North East (MND-NE) has come full circle. It was in this very place, more than four years ago, on April 24th, 2017, when BGEN Krzysztof MOTACKI took over the command of the newly created Division. A huge burden was placed on his shoulders, a task to form a tactical-level headquarters dedicated to coordination of the eFP battalion battlegroups. Division reaches Initial Capability in record time, and then on December 6th, 2018, it achieved Full Capability. The exercises: ALLIED SPIRIT, SABER STRIKE, ANACONDA, ARCADE FUSION, DECISIVE VISION or IRON WOLF are just a small portion of activities to which the soldiers of the HQ were delegated. During the establishment process of the HQ, it was important to create a well-coordinated team, which despite multinational composition and differences between its members would be able to jointly carry out the tasks set for them. During the building of the team, MGEN Krzysztof Motacki paid attention not only to relations and to cooperation in divisions, branches or sections during working hours, but also to various forms of integration and activities outside the service. On the one hand, it allowed soldiers from other countries serving in the HQ to get familiar with the country they currently reside in, on the other hand - it integrated, built mutual trust and improved the team's efficiency.
Colonel Cedric Carrington, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, emphasizes the role of the general by saying: MGen MOTACKI created the conditions for the framework nation’s earnest reputation of its international Soldiers and families. As the inaugural commander, he ensured the Polish Armed Forces, Elblag and Tri-Cities communities warmly received its international partners. His leadership and practice of mission command enabled division to achieve Full Operational Capacity in record time! He will be profoundly missed.
Colonel Darius Vaicikauskas, Chief of Staff, described the service under MGEN Motacki as a great and awarding experience that will be inserted as golden page in the book of his military life.
Today, the assembly square at ul. Podchorążych 1 in Elbląg is a witness of crucial moments in the history of the HQ. In the presence of distinguished guests, the colors of the 15th Mechanized Brigade, the Lithuanian Iron Wolf Brigade, the eFP battle group from Poland and Lithuania, MGen Krzysztof Motacki hands over the colors of the Command through the Commander of the Multinational Corps Northeast, LGEN Sławomir Wojciechowski, into the hands of BGEN Zenon Brzuszko.
The handover ceremony formalizes the transfer of responsibility and command between the current Commander and his successor. The handing over of the colors and the flag symbolizes the continued trust and loyalty of soldiers to the Commander and guarantees that the individual and subordinate soldiers will not be left without adequate leadership.
In his speech, the outgoing Commander mentioned the history of creating the Division and the hardships associated with it: Many things happened simultaneously, bearing in mind that we had to achieve Initial Capability by the end of June this year and Full Capability by the end of 2018. He described as constructing an airplane in flight. In his speech, General Motacki expressed special thanks for the support of NATO institutions, the framework state, civil institutions, services and society of Elbląg, soldiers serving in the HQ, in the Brigades, in Battle Groups and in the CS Regiment. Creating what we have now required a lot of work from my subordinates and enormous support from the outside [...] Ladies and gentlemen, serving with you was a great honor for me. He also wished his successor good luck.
BGEN in his speech, Zenon Brzuszko thanked for the trust he was placed in and expressed his pride in the fact that he was appointed the Commander of the Multinational Division North East. I must admit that I am very proud that I am here as the second commander of this wonderful, dedicated group of people who they serve in the Division.
Today in the HQ we have closed a certain chapter of our history and we are starting to write another one in accordance with our motto "Facta, non verba".
Text: MAJ Paulina Montewka
Photos: CPT Agnieszka Pytko, Spc. Harris