The United States is deploying troops to Poland, the Baltic States and Romania next month as part of raising the security of the region, Polish and U.S. defense officials said Wednesday.
Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz made the announcement following talks with the commander of U.S. land troops in Europe, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, in Zagan, western Poland. An Armored Brigade Combat Team from Fort Carson, Colorado will be deployed there early next month, while another U.S. force, a battalion, will be deployed April 1 to Orzysz, in the northeast, abcnews.go reports.
Macierewicz said he was “very happy that a decision has been taken by the U.S. side for an earlier deployment.”
But the U.S. Army said the deployment was not accelerated and is taking place as had always been scheduled.
Hodges said the troops will arrive in the German port of Bremerhaven on Jan. 6 and will be immediately deployed to Poland, the Baltic States and Romania. Their transfer will be timed and treated as a test of “how fast the force can move from port to field,” he said.
“I’m confident in the very powerful signal, the message it will send (that) the United States, along with the rest of NATO, is committed to deterrence,” Hodges said.
He said the armored brigade has already moved out of its Colorado base and is loading on ships.
“I’m excited about what my country is doing and I’m excited about continuing to work with our ally, Poland,” Hodges said.
In a separate decision, the members of NATO at a July summit in Warsaw approved the deployment of four multinational battalions to Poland and the Baltic states to deter Russia. Germany will lead a multinational battalion in Lithuania, with similar battalions to be led by the United States in Poland, Britain in Estonia and Canada in Latvia.
In November stripes.com reported that an aviation brigade and an armored brigade are deploying to Europe this winter as part of NATO efforts to reassure Eastern Europe in the face of an assertive Russia.
The 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division, based at Fort Carson in Colorado, will send 4,000 soldiers, the US Army stated in a news release. An Army spokesman confirmed the unit will begin moving in January, the same source informs.
The Romanian Ministry of Defence said at the time that the American side has confirmed through the US Bucharest Bureau of cooperation (ODC) that “the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade will be deployed in Germany and will conduct exercises in the Black Sea in support of the Operation ‘Atlantic Resolve’’. Also, elements of the 10th Brigade will be deployed on Romanian territory.”/IBNA