Written by Piero Messina
The US Army strengthens its presence in Central Europe. New troops have landed in Holland, Denmark and more reinforcements will arrive in the next few days in Riga, Lithuania.
The Usns Mendonca has docked in the Dutch port of Vlissingen and has delivered more than 1,200 vehicles and pieces of equipment, including M1 Abrams main battle tanks, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and a range of wheeled vehicles belonging to the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Calvary Division. The US Army has also sent a contingent of 500 soldiers from the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team: the unit is called the Black Jack Brigade and comes from the Fort Hood base in Texas.
In a few days soldiers and armored vehicles have set course for Poland and are now deployed at the Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, Poland.
On January 16, however, the transport ship Arc Independence arrived in the Danish port of Aarhus with its cargo of around 600 pieces of military equipment. The two missions are part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, which aims to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank and increase the coalition’s military readiness, a program that has been going on since 2014 and has now been strengthened.
Again it is important to know where those troops and armored vehicles are headed. And also in this case the answer is Poland. Indeed, the transport ship arrived at Denmark’s largest commercial port in Aarhus city and included armored military vehicles is destined to be taken to Poland. The Danish landing shocked the local population: “We have never experienced receiving a military ship before. This is the first time that we have been chosen as a transit port for the US military. That’s why today is something special,” Daniel Moller Jensen , the port’s press spokesperson, told the media.
The official explanation of this mission is provided by Col. Todd Hook (1st Cavalry Division chief of staff). According to the US official these troops were sent from Fort Hood to begin their rotation in Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
The Atlantic Resolve program began in April 2014 and provides for the presence of military contingents from the U.S. in Europe and Africa. There are approximately 6,000 regionally allocated Soldiers participating in nine-month Atlantic Resolve rotations at any given time. There are four types of U.S. Army Atlantic Resolve rotations – armored, aviation, sustainment task force and division forward headquarters. Rotational units conduct bilateral, joint and multinational training events across more than a dozen countries, including: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom.
In reality, the current deployment of forces does not appear to be a routine operation. The movement of troops was announced in September by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg who said that the alliance is building its presence in the eastern flank, putting hundreds of thousands of troops on high readiness. “We are significantly enhancing our presence in the east of the alliance, putting hundreds of thousands of troops on high readiness, supported with significant air and naval forces,” Stoltenberg told reporters then. The US build-up in eastern Europe has exponentially increased in the past year as western countries claim they are strengthening their deterrence posture facing Russia’s military.
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