The very first US troops reinforcing NATO partners in Eastern Europe landed at Rzeszow military base in southeastern Poland on Saturday, amid a Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s border. As preparations at the facility, which is near Poland’s border with Ukraine, a small plane carrying US chain of command personnel landed in the morning at Rzeszow-Jasionka airport, according to a Polish military source.
Temporary housing was being readied at the G2A Arena in the neighbouring town of Jasionka, while workers were seen erecting a barrier around the site, according to television footage. “The very first members of the brigade combat group from the United States Army’s 82nd Airborne Division have arrived in Poland,” a Polish military spokesman said.
US President Joe Biden dispatched almost 3,000 additional troops to Poland and Romania on Wednesday in order to protect Eastern Europe from a potential spillover from the Ukraine situation. As per the US Army officials, about 1,700 military members, mostly paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division, will deploy from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Poland “in the coming days.”
A Stryker squadron of roughly 1,000 US service members based in the German town of Vilseck will be transferred to Romania, according to the Pentagon. On Friday, the first extra US troops arrived in Germany. Russia has rejected plans to invade Ukraine, but it has stationed over 100,000 troops near the country’s borders and has threatened to take unspecified military action if its demands are not met, including NATO’s commitment to never accept Kyiv.
The new strategy goes above and beyond the 8,500 troops placed on standby last month by the Pentagon to deploy to Europe if necessary. At their next meeting on February 16-17, NATO defence ministers are scheduled to consider additional reinforcements.