The US European command appears to have misplaced the official page on the current situation on the COVID-19.
This means one of two things – the situation is going so well that not a single NATO soldier is currently infected, and there’s no need to publish any updates at all;
Or, alternatively, the situation is so severe and the alliance was so late in applying any counteractive measures that many of its troops and personnel have contacted COVID-19.
It is clear which one is more likely, and according to various sources, the reason for hiding statistics on infected people was the increase in the number of sick/isolated US troops in Europe.
These include the personnel of the 2nd Armored Group of the 2nd Armored Division of the 1st Cavalry Division and the armored brigade of the 2nd Armored Brigade of the 3rd US Infantry Division, located in Poland, in the cities of Ozhis and Dravsko-Pomorsk, respectively.
Already in contact with them were units of the Polish 15th and 16th mechanized divisions, as well as about 1,200 troops from the UK, Croatia, Romania and other US units.
The command of the troops is taking measures to limit contacts with the local population. Furthermore, the hope is that the presence of the US military in Poland will not provoke an uncontrolled epidemic in the country.
Such circumstances impose restrictions on the timing of rotation of these units. Initially, it was planned to carry out the rotation of US deployments in Poland, and Europe after the completion of the exercise “Defender Europe 2020” – in May-June 2020.
But then it was announced that US troops deployed in Europe would remain there for an indefinite period, given the spreading of COVID-19.
However, it could be that evacuation could be carried out earlier, or on an emergency basis if it spreads too wide.
Four NATO soldiers tested positive in Afghanistan, and as of March 25th, three staff members at NATO Headquarters have tested positive for COVID-19. One has fully recovered and is back at work, and the other two are recovering. Two contractors have also tested positive.
Defender Europe 2020 has throttled, with all movement of US troops to Europe being stopped as of March 13th.
“As of March 13, all movement of personnel and equipment from the United States to Europe has ceased.… Linked exercises to Exercise Defender-Europe 20—Dynamic Front, Joint Warfighting Assessment, Saber Strike and Swift Response—will not be conducted,” U.S. Army Europe announced on March 16th.
Because no such exercise has been conducted in a quarter-century, Defender-Europe 20 is vital. Defender-Europe 20 “shows that NATO allies and partners stand stronger together,” a U.S. Army Europe factsheet explained.
Some deployments from the US to Europe were carried out, and those troops are to remain to secure Poland against the “Russian threat,” just in case.
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