Pentagon orders 10,500 troops to replace forces in Europe

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered the deployment of 10,500 troops to replace ones who have been previously deployed to Europe.

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

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

“Moreover, these forces are not going to fight in Ukraine, they are going to support the robust defense of NATO allies,” he added.

The US in February and March deployed and repositioned thousands of troops to bolster allies in Europe amid Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine.

Most recently, Austin deployed additional aviation capabilities to the region, which totaled approximately 200 personnel. Those deployments brought the total number of US personnel in Europe to 100,000.

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

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

The Second Infantry Brigade Combat Team 101st Airborne Division will also deploy about 4,200 soldiers from Fort Campbell to replace troops from the Third Infantry Brigade Combat Team of 82nd Airborne Division in Poland.

The third Armored Brigade Combat Team First Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas, will deploy another 4,200 soldiers to replace the First Armored Brigade, Third Infantry Division in Germany.

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

The units being replaced will return to the US after an “appropriate” turnover of responsibilities, which will occur in the coming weeks and into the summer,” Kirby said.

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