Die US-Streitkräfte haben ihre Pläne für eine Verstärkung ihrer Truppenpräsenz in Europa präzisiert. Nachdem bereits seit einiger Zeit klar war, dass die dafür nötigen Mittel vervierfacht werden und Material für eine Heeresdivision in Europa stationiert wird, hat das U.S. European Command (US EUCOM) am (heutigen) Mittwoch dafür genauere Pläne öffentlich gemacht: Unter anderem soll ein Brigade Combat Team, also eine Kampfbrigade, zusätzlich auf den Kontinent kommen und durch die osteuropäischen NATO-Mitgliedsländer rotieren.
Aus der Mitteilung von EUCOM:
As part of the United States commitment to increased assurance and deterrence, U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) will begin receiving continuous troop rotations of U.S.-based armored brigade combat teams (ABCT) to the European theater in February 2017, bringing the total Army presence in Europe up to three fully-manned Army brigades.
As discussed during the announcement of the Fiscal Year 2017 European Reassurance Initiative (ERI) budget proposal, the Army has decided to begin storing “static” equipment, known as Army Prepositioned Stocks (APS), within Europe for contingency operations.
The ABCTs will be on nine-month rotations from the U.S. and will bring their own modern equipment to conduct exercises across Atlantic Resolve countries. These rotations will demonstrate our ability to rapidly deploy equipment and forces to Europe by sending U.S.-based rotational forces with their currently assigned equipment. This equipment will be the most modernized the Army has to offer and over the next year will replace the current training equipment in Europe.
When the first rotational armored brigade combat team arrives early next year, the equipment currently used by rotational forces, known as the European Activity Set (EAS), will remain in Europe, be repaired, upgraded, and converted into the core of the APS we announced in February. We plan to have APS stored in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. (…)
By the end of 2017, there will be a continuous presence of three fully equipped Army Brigade Combat Teams (one Armored, one Airborne, one Stryker); one prepositioned set of combat-ready equipment sufficient to support another Armored Brigade Combat Team; as well as division-level enablers in Europe.
In einem Bericht dazu bringt AP die Absicht etwas weniger diplomatisch verklärt auf den Punkt:
U.S. officials say the Pentagon will be deploying an armored brigade combat team to Eastern Europe next February as part of the ongoing effort to rotate troops in and out of the region to reassure allies worried about threats from an increasingly aggressive Russia.
The officials said the Army will announce Wednesday that it will be sending a full set of equipment with the brigade to Europe. Earlier plans had called for the Pentagon to rotate troops into Europe, where they would have used a set of training equipment pre-positioned there.(…)
There are about 4,500 soldiers in an armored brigade, along with dozens of heavy vehicles, tanks and other equipment.
Ähnlich auch Stars&Stripes:
The U.S. Army will begin rotational deployments of an armored brigade combat team in Europe starting next February, the military announced Wednesday, in a move that will raise the number of American troops on the Continent in response to a more assertive Russia.
Nachtrag: Eine Analyse dazu vom US-Militärkorrespondenten des Guardian:
The US military will keep three heavy army brigades in Europe on a continuous basis, reversing Barack Obama’s reduction of forces after concluding that Russian aggression poses an enduring threat to continental stability.
The shift in course is the latest in a series of small restorations of the military status quo before Obama, suggesting that senior officers have already begun to look past his presidency.
Shortly after Obama leaves office in 2017, the army presence in Europe will return to three armored brigades, with associated vehicles and artillery set for immediate restoration.
(Foto: Iron Troop Soldiers and a convoy of U.S. Army M1131 Stryker vehicles from 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Iron Troop, stationed out of Vilseck, Germany, return to Tapa Training Area from Amari Air Base in Harjumaa, Estonia, in response to the Estonian nationwide readiness exercise, March 17, 2016 – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Steven M. Colvin)