President Biden has authorized nearly 2,000 Fort Bragg troops to be deployed to Poland and Germany this week, as tensions rise in the Ukraine, the Secretary of Defense’s office announced Wednesday.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said that additionally, another 1,000 Fort Bragg-based soldiers will be moved from Germany to Romania. The 82nd Airborne Division deployments are in support of NATO allies across the region, and will not be sent to the Ukraine to fight, Kirby said.
“President Biden has been clear that the United States will respond to the growing threat to Europe’s security and stability,” Kirby said. “Our commitment to NATO Article V and collective defense, remains iron clad.”
A timeline has not been set for the moves, but Kirby said that the expectation is these are short-term deployments.
“I want to be very clear about something, these are not permanent moves. They are moves designed to respond to the current security environment. Moreover, these forces are not going to fight in Ukraine. They are going to ensure the robust defense of our NATO allies.”
.@PentagonPresSec: The United States will soon move additional forces to Romania, Poland, and Germany. I want to be very clear about something: these are not permanent moves. pic.twitter.com/SnQnGnCvwN— Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) February 2, 2022
“We remain focused on the evolving situation in Europe, and Russia’s actions on the Ukrainian border and in Belarus,” Kirby said. “As (Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin) said, ‘the United States stands shoulder-to-shoulder with our NATO allies. The current situation demands that we reinforce the deterrent and defensive posture on NATO’s Eastern flank.'”
The first step in the deployments will be to reposition 1,000 soldiers from Germany to Romania in the next few days. Those soldiers are designed to show a defensive front and deter aggression, according to the Department of Defense.
“This is a Stryker squadron, a mounted cavalry unit that is designed to deploy in short order, and to move quickly once in place,” Kirby said. “They will augment the some 900 U.S. forces that are currently in Romania… This move is coming at the express invitation of the Romanian government.”
Kirby said French forces will also be deployed to help in the NATO mission, in addition to those from Fort Bragg being deployed.
Secondly, the U.S. is set to send approximately 2,000 soldiers – all to be from Fort Bragg’s 82nd Airborne Division and the XVIII Airborne Corps.
“The 82nd Airborne Division is deploying components of an infantry brigade combat team and key enablers to Poland,” Kirby said. “And the XVIII Airborne Corps is moving a Joint Task Force capable headquarters to Germany.”
The third component is that an additional 8,500 soldiers are on “heightened alert posture” but are not being deployed yet. They will be ready to deploy immediately, if called, Kirby said.