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Allies reinforce NATO's flanks

Soldiers of the US XVIII Airborne Corps arriving in Wiesbaden, Germany, on 4 February. (US Army/SPC Joshua Cowden)

The Pentagon announced on its website on 11 February that another 3,000 troops from the US 82 nd Airborne Division would be sent to Europe. The announcement came as US Army troops sent earlier were arriving in Poland and Romania to reassure NATO allies as European alliance members increased their commitment to the Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) in the Baltic states and Poland in the face of Russia's continued massing of troops against Ukraine.

Troops from the 82nd Airborne Division began arriving in Rzeszów, Poland, on 6 February with elements of an infantry brigade combat team numbering 1,700 troops and ‘key enablers'. The Polish Minister of National Defence, Mariusz Błaszczak, told a press conference on 6 February that the US troops would operate in southeastern Poland. Their division's parent XVIII Airborne Corps sent a 300-strong joint task force-capable headquarters to Wiesbaden, Germany.

A 1,000-strong Stryker squadron of the US Army's 2nd Cavalry Regiment deployed from its base in Vilseck, Germany, with its light wheeled armoured vehicles to Romania to reinforce around 900 US troops already there. The Pentagon's 11 February announcement was illustrated by photos of units preparing to move or arriving in Europe, including the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command's 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, in Ansbach, Germany, forming a convoy for a road march to Romania.

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