(VitalNews.org) – The US Army just announced on Wednesday that around 3,600 soldiers will be heading to Eastern Europe sometime in the Fall, showing no signs of slowing down such deployments as the Russian/Ukraine war continues.
The latest batch of troops is set for deployment in the next few months, 3,400 from the 3rd Infantry Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division and 200 from the headquarters of the 82nd Airborne Division. According to Army officials, most of them will head to Romania and some will go to Southeast Europe, to the “High North” region of the continent comprising the Scandinavian nations.
The 82nd Airborne Division will replace the 10th Mountain Division while the 101st Division’s 3rd Infantry Brigade will replace the 1st. A US Army spokesman, Col. Martin O’Donnell, said in a statement that, like the divisions before them who they are about to replace, the “disciplined airborne and air assault units… will build allied competency,” improve “interoperability,” and improve their warfighting abilities and combat readiness.
Over the last two years, the US has bounced between 80,000 to 100,000 troops in Europe, depending on various factors like military exercises. The current number is around 85,000, which is 20,000 more than what it was in February 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine as the Biden administration has been increasing that number throughout the war. Last year, the US started upping troop deployment to the Eastern region, which continues unabated. In July 2023, 3,000 more were deployed. And earlier this month, around 4,500 began deployment to Latvia, Poland, Estonia, and Lithuania.
At the beginning of the month, officials at the Pentagon were initially debating whether or not to backfill the two units being the newly deployed troops are set to replace, but ultimately chose to send them home. A spokesman for the Pentagon said this is part of the “regular evaluation process” and that such rotations are normal. Although the number of troops won’t be increased, it will be maintained.
Some are concerned the move will provoke Russia, while others believe “Russia only understands force.” Even though the number of troops is up since the invasion of Ukraine, the number was still three times as many as during the Cold War.
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