February 27, 2022–4:02 p.m.
President Joe Biden has directed that 7,000 U.S. service members be deployed to Germany to enhance deterrence of Russia.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has ordered the deployment of those 7,000 service members. The major unit in this tranche of troops is the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia, said a senior defense official speaking on background.
Enabling units will also deploy. The troops will be going to Germany “to reassure NATO allies, deter Russian aggression and to be prepared to support a range of other requirements in the region,” the official said.
This means some 12,000 U.S. troops, in total, have deployed or been ordered to deploy to Europe from the United States and another 2,000 troops in Europe who have moved closer to NATO’s eastern flank. They join 80,000 U.S. service members based in Europe. Adding in the service members of NATO members on the continent, this brings the number to more than 2 million, the official said.
Some of the U.S. troops deploying are from the group Austin put on a heightened state of readiness in January, the official said.
The troops will deploy to Germany initially, the official said. They could be repositioned to other NATO countries as needed. “We expect them to depart [the United States] in coming days,” the official said.
Russian forces continue to attack in Ukraine at the major population centers of Kyiv – the capital — and Kharkiv, in the eastern part of the country. The official said that Ukrainian units are fighting the Russian invasion, but there is no way to categorize their resistance.
Russia has launched at least 160 short-range, medium-range and cruise missiles into Ukraine from land, sea, and air, the official said, and more Russian troops have entered Ukraine. The missiles are aimed at military bases and airfields around Kharkiv and Kyiv. Again, there is no way to verify how accurate they are or what casualties they are causing.
From US Senator Raphael Warnock:
Yesterday, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) spoke by phone with Major General Charles D. Costanza, the commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, regarding the forthcoming deployment of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3ID, to Germany as part of the additional 7,000 servicemembers ordered forward by President Biden in support of the mission responding to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
Senator Warnock and Major General Constanza discussed the unprecedented nature of this deployment, given it is the first time in recent history that an Armored Brigade Combat Team has deployed rapidly in support of a contingency operation. They also discussed how the deployment will impact the families of the unit; only seven months ago the unit returned from a 9-month deployment to Korea, and the unit could now be deployed—on short notice—for up to 6 months. Major General Constanza shared how difficult this type of deployment is, including how different it is from known schedules that units have maintained over the last 20 years. Major General Costanza also shared how quickly and effectively the unit prepared to deploy.
In the coming days, Fort Stewart’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3ID, will arrive at the Joint Multinational Training Center in Grafenwoehr, Germany. Senator Warnock offered Major General Constanza his unwavering support for the servicemembers and their families, and made clear that he will communicate anything needed by the unit to Congress during this mission. Senator Warnock closed the call by thanking Major General Constanza and the unit for their courageous service, and reiterating that he and his staff are standing by to assist the unit in any way.