Air Force Times
April 1, 2022
Thousands of troops who mobilized over the past two months in response to Russia’s military build-up and then invasion of Ukraine are probably going to remain activated into the summer, the Pentagon confirmed on Thursday.
More than 5,000 troops are in Poland, training with local forces and facilitating handoffs of weapons and equipment to Ukrainian forces, while a carrier strike group has been operating in the Mediterranean Sea since late last year. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has decided both will extend past their original estimated deployments, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.
“He reviews the posture literally every day, and he has decided that he’s going to keep the 82nd there for a while longer,” Kirby said. “And he has decided that the carrier Truman and her strike group will stay in the Med for a while longer.”
The support units that accompanied the 82nd will also stay, Kirby added. Aviation assets and an armored brigade combat team have also deployed to Germany and across Eastern Europe.
To date, about 11,000 troops have joined 80,000 that are already stationed in Europe….
Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, the head of U.S. European Command, told lawmakers on Wednesday that he has had discussions with his chain of command about increasing the number of troops on the continent.
“The rotational troop presence is not adequate,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Alabama, told Wolters. “It needs to be permanent.”
Stars and Stripes
March 29, 2022
The United States is sending another 400 troops and multiple aircraft to Eastern Europe to bolster NATO defenses in the region as Russia continues its war on Ukraine, chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday.
About 200 service members from Marine Air Control Group 28, based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., have arrived in Lithuania to support the NATO ally’s defenses, Kirby told reporters at the Pentagon.
Another 200 troops, 10 Marine Corps F-18 Hornets and “a couple of Marine Corps C-130” Hercules aircraft from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., will also soon deploy to Eastern Europe, he said.
The 400 troops deploying to Eastern Europe join more than 100,000 U.S. service members in Europe. About 14,000 of the 100,000 troops deployed to the region in the past two months from the U.S….
Kirby said Tuesday that sending more U.S. troops and military assets to Europe is aimed at shoring up military capabilities in the region rather than trying to meet a force-total goal there.
The announcement came a day after Kirby said about 240 sailors and six Navy EA-18G Growlers from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., would arrive at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany on Monday to support NATO amid Russia’s war on Ukraine.
“This is in order to bolster readiness, enhance NATO’s collective defense posture and further increase air integration capabilities with our allied and partner nations,” he said Monday.