Apr 23, 2014

4 Army units heading to Eastern Europe

The U.S. military in Europe is sending four company-sized infantry units, a total of about 600 soldiers, to Eastern Europe, the latest effort to reassure NATO allies in light of Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Four countries — Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia — each will receive a company of paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Vicenza, Italy.
U.S. European Command will maintain a rotation of ground forces in those countries for at least the next several months. The companies will conduct live-fire training exercises with local military forces for about one month, then will depart and be replaced by another U.S. Army company.
Last week NATO announced that it would have “more planes in the air, more ships on the water and more readiness on the land” but details of those additional operations have not been made public.
The Army deployment marks the first sustained addition of ground forces into Eastern Europe since Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine’s Crimea region began in late February.
The Pentagon expects to announce further U.S. troop deployments within NATO soon.
Last week, USA extended until the end of the year the deployment of about 200 airmen and Air Force F-16 fighters and C-130 cargo planes in Poland.
At Powidz Air Base, also in Poland, U.S. Air Force KC-135 tankers also are temporarily flying daily missions to refuel NATO-owned surveillance aircraft tracking Russian military movements along the eastern frontiers of Poland and Romania.

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