The Pentagon is sending 10,500 U.S. troops to Europe in the coming months to replace personnel that are currently deployed — “one to one unit replacements” that will keep the U.S. military footprint in the region unchanged at 100,000 strong, according to spokesman John Kirby.
The planned rotations will “go into the summer,” he added, and involve a number of different units. About 4,200 soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division, headquartered at Fort Campbell, Ky., will be sent to replace those from the 82nd Airborne Division’s 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, currently operating in Poland. Meanwhile, 4,200 soldiers from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, based at Fort Hood, Tex., will be sent to Germany to replace the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division troops who have been stationed there.
Another 500 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell will be deployed to replace members of the 82nd Airborne Division across the area of responsibility for U.S. European Command. Eighteen hundred people from the 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade in Fort Bliss, Tex., will also be sent to replace the outgoing 1st Air Cavalry Brigade tasked to Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Kirby stressed that the deployments “are not permanent moves. These moves are designed to respond to the current security environment.”
He acknowledged, however, that “we’re going to have to take a look at the permanent footprint in Europe and make an assessment about that in the future.”
“These forces are not going to fight in Ukraine,” Kirby added. “They are going to support the robust defense of NATO allies.”