US Heavy Armoured Brigade to Deploy to Mid-Eastern Europe?
US Army Commander in Europe, general Frederick Ben Hodges stated that the US forces are to eventually deploy heavy brigade combat team, equipped with the Abrams tanks and Bradley IFVs, to Poland, Baltic states or Romania.
General Hodges stated that rotational presence of small units of the US Army in Poland and the Baltic states will last at least until the end of the next year, however, the American soldiers will remain in the Mid-Eastern Europe as long as it would be required. According to the Pentagon press release, Mr. Hodge stated that the US brigade combat team, along with Abrams tanks and Bradley IFVs, is to be “eventually” deployed “to an area further east” (in comparison with the current location of the US Forces in Germany), to Poland, one of the Baltic states or to Romania.
Commander of the US Army in Europe has noted that currently USA does not have a such large force at its disposal in Europe it had during the Cold War, and Germany is a home for support units acting within the scope of logistics. The General also noted that deployment of equipment to the “Eastern Europe” is a part of the American strategy. This means that equipment for the heavy brigade combat group could be deployed to the region, while the soldiers (of part of or of all the units) would be present here in a rotational manner.
General Hodges hoped that the funds will be allocated from the Pentagon foreign operations budget, to make it possible to stay active in the Eastern Europe. Earlier it had been stated that deployment of the equipment may be one of the elements of the European Reassurance Initiative, which would aim at supporting Europe. This programme is being lead by Barrack Obama’s administration. US Army Commander in Europe stated that the talks on deploying the equipment of the brigade are currently in progress and they involve Department of State, Department of Defense and representatives of the NATO member states.
Currently US Army command in Europe may use a “regionally aligned” armoured brigade which is permanently stationed in the US (1st Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division in 2014). This Brigade is also a part of the NATO Response Force for given year. The last two units of this type, which had been constantly present in Germany, have been dissolved during the US Army restructuring programme. As we know, the selected elements of the 1st Brigade have been deployed to Poland and the Baltic States.
Deployment of equipment for a full brigade combat group in Europe would significantly bolster the US military presence in the region. It seems that it would be desired that the soldiers of the rotationally NATO-response-forces dependent brigade should maintain readiness by staying in the region where the equipment is deployed, as it will happen in the South Korea, instead of being located in the fixed base in the USA.