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Baloogan Campaign Forum • View topic - Army plans to shift 3,000 troops to Europe

Army plans to shift 3,000 troops to Europe

Moderators: Dandin384, Kushan, JanMasterson

Army plans to shift 3,000 troops to Europe

Postby JanMasterson » Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:21 am

By Kristina Wong - 01/10/15 08:34 AM EST
The Army plans to send a brigade of tanks and fighting vehicles into Europe by the end of this year, according to the top Army commander in the region.

More than 150 tanks and fighting vehicles will go to Germany and other countries in Europe as part of the Army’s plan to bolster its presence on the continent.

The shift comes as the war in Afghanistan winds down and more resources and troops are available for service in Europe.
“By the end of 2015, we will have an entire heavy brigade combat team of equipment — that’s enough tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles, self-propelled Howitzers, engineer vehicles, on and on, for three battalions and a reconnaissance squadron plus all the enablers,” Lt. Gen Frederick "Ben" Hodges, Commander of U.S. Army Europe, told The Hill.

The move is also meant to reassure European allies worried about Russia, which has tanks positioned on the eastern border of Ukraine.

The U.S. isn't moving permanent troops to Europe to go along with the equipment. Troops will instead rotate through the continent.

About 3,000 additional soldiers would be deployed between March and the fall. The U.S. now has roughly 67,000 troops based in Europe.

“I anticipate that almost the entire 1st Brigade of 3rd Division will come over in March, so you’re looking at probably over 3,000 soldiers that would be part of a brigade combat team like that,” Hodges said.

It’s all part of the Army’s Regionally Aligned Forces (RAF) plan to maintain a presence in the region, but at the same time save on costs of permanently basing forces there.

Hodges said the Army will present recommendations to European Command by the end of January of where exactly to place the equipment.

Putting tanks and hardware back into Europe is a reversal of sorts: Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno announced in June 2013 that the Army was cutting two heavy brigade combat teams from Europe.

When Russia invaded Crimea in March, there was not a single Army tank in Europe.

Two brigades remain in Europe — the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vicenza, Italy, and the 2nd Stryker Brigade in Vilseck, Germany.

Hodges said Odierno conceived of the plan before the Russian invasion in order to maintain an Army presence in Europe given the drawdown in Afghanistan.

“Gen. Odierno’s concept was what gave us the opportunity on a really, really short time span to be able to get heavy forces over into the Baltics and Poland at a time where we needed that for assurance purposes as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve,” Hodges said.

“Back in the spring, we had paratroopers show up there in no time,” he said. “The strategic effect of just one company of American paratroopers walking off an airplane into Estonia, where you had the president and prime minister out there in tears, everybody waving American flags, that was a powerful effect.”

Luke Coffey, the Margaret Thatcher fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said the plan was an attempt to “try to right a wrong” of cutting brigades, but argued that rotating the troops was not enough to deter Moscow from further aggressive moves.

“It’s not the same,” said Coffey, a former soldier. “It looks great on social media and has limited strategic impact, but little tactical value.”

Hodges said the Army does not have the need for four brigades in Europe.

“Surely I would love to have more forces that were here, but in terms of what we need, and what we can afford as an Army, two is about the right number here,” he said.

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/22910 ... -to-europe
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Re: US announces first F-35 in Europe to be based in the UK

Postby JanMasterson » Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:45 pm





09 January 2015 Royal Air Force

RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk will become home to the first 2 US F-35 fighter jet squadrons in Europe.

The US Department of Defense has announced that RAF Lakenheath will become home to the first 2 US F-35 squadrons in Europe with the first aircraft due to arrive in 2020.

The announcement is part of the US Government’s review into the American military footprint across Europe.

The basing of US F-35s at RAF Lakenheath confirms the American military presence in the UK for the foreseeable future. It also means that for the first time in decades the US Air Force and the RAF will have operated the same type of aircraft from the UK.

The US has also decided to end its presence at nearby RAF Mildenhall. The precise timing for their final withdrawal has still to be determined, but it is expected to correspond with the period in which the US plan to increase their presence at the adjacent RAF Lakenheath.

Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon said:
"This resounding vote of confidence by the US is great news for the UK. Our historic relationship with the US remains as strong as ever, and their decision to base their first F-35 squadrons in the UK clearly reflects the closeness of our partnership, as well as the American commitment to NATO and Europe.
"I am delighted that the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and US Air Force will be operating this superb aircraft alongside one another from bases in the UK. It is an indication of the strength of our continuing shared commitment to transatlantic security.
"Of course, the US decision to drawdown its presence at RAF Mildenhall is disappointing. However, we recognise that in these challenging times of austerity, the US is not immune to the need to make efficiency savings across US Defence."

US Assistant Secretary of Defense, Derek Chollet said:
"The UK is an extraordinary ally and supportive host to US forces. Our decision to base US Air Force F-35s at RAF Lakenheath is a testament to that special relationship and a sign of the decades of co-operation to come."

The basing of the US Air Force F-35 squadrons in such proximity to the RAF’s F-35 Lightning II jets – to be based at RAF Marham in Norfolk – will allow for the 2 forces to work even more closely together.

The build up of US capabilities and subsequent increased investment at RAF Lakenheath is particularly welcome as it will lessen the impact of the base consolidation decisions also being announced by the Department of Defense today, 8 January. However, the investments the US is making at RAF Lakenheath, and the advance notice given, will reduce any local impact of the Mildenhall drawdown.

Additionally, the US facilities at Alconbury and Molesworth will be returned to the MOD, with associated US roles and missions being completed within a single facility at RAF Croughton.
http://rpdefense.over-blog.com/2015/01/ ... he-uk.html
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