Deployments Bolster US Presence In Western Pacific, Europe
(Source: US Department of Defense; issued Jan 06, 2017)
US military vehicles roll off the ship ARC Resolve at Bremerhaven, Germany, Jan. 6, 2017, marking the beginning of back-to-back rotations of armored brigades in Europe as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (US Army photo)
WASHINGTON --- Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook has announced operational deployments that will boost U.S. presence in the western Pacific and in Europe.

"Ships and units from the Carl Vinson strike group will depart San Diego for a regularly scheduled deployment to the western Pacific," Cook told Pentagon reporters Thursday.

Approximately 7,500 sailors will deploy and focus on maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and bilateral exercises, he said.


Separately, Cook said, the United States is demonstrating its continued commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America's dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region in light of Russia's intervention in Ukraine.

"Tanks, trucks and other equipment are scheduled to arrive in Europe this weekend, beginning a nine-month rotation of U.S. Army forces supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve," the press secretary said.

The arrival of troops and equipment from 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, out of Fort Carson, Colorado, marks the beginning of the presence of an ABCT and back-to-back rotations of U.S. troops and equipment in Europe, he added.

After the equipment arrives at Bremerhaven, Germany, it will move by rail, commercial line haul and military convoy to Poland, Cook said. Troops and equipment will later be relocated throughout the region for training and exercises with European allies.

"This effort is part of our European Reassurance Initiative to maintain persistent, rotational presence of air, land, and sea forces in Central and Eastern Europe," he said.


Tanks Arrive In Germany to Begin Armor Rotations
(Source: US Army; issued Jan 06, 2017)
BREMERHAVEN, Germany --- The first pieces of equipment from 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, rolled off the boat here January 6, 2017, beginning back-to-back rotations of U.S. troops and armor in Europe.

The brigade equipment, about 2,800 vehicles and containers, is scheduled to move from Bremerhaven by rail, commercial line haul and military convoy to training areas at Drawsko Pomorskie and Zagan, Poland, where the brigade will consolidate before relocating units across countries from Estonia to Bulgaria beginning in February.

"This is a tangible sign of the United States' commitment to maintaining peace on this continent," said Maj. Gen. Timothy McGuire, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Europe. "It is a sign of the U.S. commitment to this alliance and to peace and prosperity in Europe."

Showing that commitment will involve training with seven countries for the duration of the rotation. Following the initial consolidation the brigade headquarters; brigade engineering and support battalions; 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment; and 4th Squadron, 10th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, will operate from existing Polish military installations in Zagan, Swietoszow, Skwierzyna, and Boleslawiec. 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, will move to the Baltic nations and remain positioned there until NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence, or eFP, battle groups are in place and then will rotate throughout Europe to participate in exercises as requested.

The 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, will support Atlantic Resolve activities primarily in Bulgaria and Romania. The 1st Battalion 66th Armor Regiment "Iron Knights", will move to Grafenwöhr Training Area, Germany, where it will conduct training and maintenance to build and sustain readiness.

"The best way to maintain peace is preparation," McGuire said. "The more we work together [with our allies], the better prepared we are."

The movement from the United States was, itself, the initial training event for the unit in Europe. The arrival of the shipped equipment also trained the U.S. Army Soldiers in Europe from 21st Theater Sustainment command who coordinated the move from Germany to Poland.

"It's the first deployment of an armor brigade for nine months in many, many years," said Maj. Gen. Duane A. Gamble, commanding general, 21st Theater Sustainment Command. "As we have responded to aggression in the East, we have rotated units into Germany and into Poland and out over the last few years.

They have come for four months, six months or shorter periods of time. This is the first one that will come for nine-months and stay. It's the first one that has brought its own equipment with them. So, in terms of training, what better training than to have a unit leave Fort Carson, move to a seaport in Texas, load its equipment on three vessels…and then deploy their Soldiers by air. It's an absolutely exquisite training event."

The unit will have a capstone training event in Poland in July. They will be replaced in September by another armor brigade, with one unit arriving and 3/4ABCT returning to Fort Carson, Colorado.

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US Armor Brigade Unloads in Europe to Deter Russia
(Source: Deutsche Welle German Radio; issued Jan 08, 2017)
Hundreds of US tanks and vehicles attached to an armored brigade have arrived in Germany on their way to Poland. The deployment of a third US combat brigade signals Washington's commitment to NATO's eastern flank.

The US military continued on Sunday to unload hundreds of tanks, trucks and equipment at the northern German port of Bremerhaven as part of a build-up to deter Russia and reassure NATO allies on the eastern flank.

"Let me be clear: This is one part of our efforts to deter Russian aggression, ensure the territorial integrity of our allies and maintain a Europe that is whole, free, prosperous, and at peace," US Air Force Lieutenant General Tim Ray, deputy commander of US European Command, said in prepared remarks in Bremerhaven.

The first pieces of equipment from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division rolled off boats in Bremerhaven on Friday, while combat troops started to arrive over the weekend in Poland.

The US late last year announced it would send a third combat brigade to Europe, pre-positioning supplies and equipment and bringing in troops in back-to-back nine month rotations.

Around 3,500 soldiers, 87 tanks, 18 howitzers; 419 humvees, 144 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 446 tracked vehicles, 907 wheeled vehicles, and 650 trailers are involved in the brigade deployment.

Bremerhaven is a central logistic point from where the equipment will be brought to staging areas and headquarters in Poland. In the beginning of February, the units will be distributed from Poland across the region, including the Baltic countries, Romania and Bulgaria. One armor regiment will also be based in Grafenwöhr, Germany, for training and maintenance.

The US military and NATO said they were seeking to boost inter-operability and combat readiness to be able to quickly respond to renewed threats following Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and Moscow's hybrid warfare in eastern Ukraine.

NATO members Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia - each with large ethnic Russian minorities - are particularly worried Russia could intervene directly or indirectly in their countries as Moscow did in Ukraine. The deployment comes less than two weeks before Donald Trump takes over the White House as US president. His friendly comments towards Russia and questioning of NATO have caused concern among NATO members in eastern Europe.

Germany, Canada and Britain are also sending a rotating battalion each to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Ray said the armor combat brigade deployment was only a part of a larger deterrent force that included equipment in "space, cyberspace, the air and sea." He added that the nearly 70,000 US troops in Europe were adapting to new strategic realities, including Russian aggression, migration and Islamic radicalism.

The 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team will participate in several training missions with NATO allies, including the large Saber Guardian 17 NATO exercise in July in the Black Sea region. It will be replaced by a new brigade next September.


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