It was moving day at Fort Carson, Colorado, as The U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division’s 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team prepared to ship out.
CCTV’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports the story.
US troops to deploy in effort to ease European concernsIt was moving day at Fort Carson, Colorado, as The U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team prepared to ship out. CCTV’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports the story.
“We have everything from tanks, Bradleys, mortar carriers, artillery pieces, engineer vehicles,” said Col. John Gilliam, of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team.
There are 3,000 pieces of equipment. “This equipment is sort of our lifeblood,” said Col. John Gilliam.
“Lot of good stuff moving out here,” said Capt. Kenneth Kloeppel, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team.
The 4,000 soldiers deploying will rely on the thousands of pieces of equipment during their upcoming nine-month deployment in Europe.
“We’ll be there to assure our allies and partners primarily,” said Col. John Gilliam.
It could also be called reassurance and deterrence.
These vehicles, this equipment, will ultimately end up in nine Central and Eastern European countries, some of them right on the doorstep of Russia.
“This is about increasing concerns about Russia. We want to deter Russia from making any further advances and to reassure our allies,” said Schuyler Foerster from Colorado College.
President Barack Obama announced Operation Atlantic Resolve in Poland in 2014, soon after Russia intervened in Ukraine. As part of this multi-billion dollar effort, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team will join European soldiers in training exercises that experts say are meant to send Russian President Vladimir Putin a clear message that he should think twice about invading one of its neighbors.
“This would be an escalation that would be met with forces on the ground,” Foerster said.
“I think the administration suddenly woke up and realized the difference between Crimea and Estonia is not that great,” said Jonathan Adelman from University of Denver.
Professor Adelman believes the deployment is Obama’s way of protecting his legacy, adding that Putin does not represent a threat right now.
“He’s not quite sure who, and he’s not the only one, who the new President of the United States really is and I think he wants to test that out before he goes any further,” Adelman said.
At a time when President-elect Donald Trump has questioned America’s commitment to NATO, this show of force could ease nervous U.S. allies.
“It’s really to reassure them that NATO’s guarantees are firm,” Foerster said, but added that the U.S. must be careful not to provoke Russia.
“Undoubtedly if I were presuming, the ambassador in Moscow is telling the Russian governments these are rotations, these are exercises. You can be assured there is no mobilization of a capability that’s going to invade you,” Foerster said.
Leaders of the U.S. force won’t talk about Russia specifically.
“We are there to deter any would-be adversary,” Col. Gilliam said.
The U.S. troops are on track to make their presence felt in Europe starting in January.