Pentagon orders 10,500 troops to replace forces in Europe

Pentagon orders 10,500 troops to replace forces in Europe

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered the deployment of 10,500 troops to replace those previously deployed to Europe.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters that the troops will be deployed “in the coming months,” adding that US troop positions in Europe will remain unchanged.

“These are not permanent moves,” Kirby said. “These steps are designed to respond to the current security environment.

“Moreover, these forces will not fight in Ukraine, they will support the robust defenses of NATO allies,” he added.

The US deployed and repositioned thousands of troops in February and March to bolster allies in Europe amid Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Most recently, Austin provided additional aviation capacity in the region totaling approximately 200 employees. These deployments brought the total number of US personnel in Europe to 100,000.

Kirby said Friday’s sorties will leave that number unchanged as the sorties are “one-for-one unit replacements.”

About 500 Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky will replace the Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division currently based in Europe, Kirby said.

The 101st Airborne Division’s 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team will also deploy approximately 4,200 soldiers from Fort Campbell to replace the troops of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Poland.

The Third Armored Brigade Combat Team, First Cavalry Division, based out of Fort Hood, Texas, will deploy an additional 4,200 troops to replace the First Armored Brigade, Third Infantry Division in Germany.

Additionally, the 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade, numbering approximately 1,800 Soldiers from Fort Bliss, Texas, will replace the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve, which has been a rotational deployment for the Army since 2014.

The units to be replaced will return to the United States following an “appropriate” handover, which will take place over the coming weeks and into the summer,” Kirby said.

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