The Pentagon will send 3,000 additional combat troops to Poland to join 1,700 people already gathering there in a show of US commitment to NATO allies worried about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, a senior defense official said on Friday.
The additional soldiers will leave their site at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, over the next two days, and are supposed to be in Poland by early next week, according to the defense official, who provided the information under ground rules set by the Pentagon. They are the remaining elements of an infantry brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division.
Their job will be to train and provide deterrence, but not to participate in the fighting in Ukraine.
The announcement came shortly after Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, issued a public warning to all US citizens in Ukraine to leave the country as soon as possible. Sullivan said Russian President Vladimir Putin could order an invasion of Ukraine any day now.
In addition to the American forces deployed in Poland, about 1,000 American soldiers stationed in Germany are moving to Romania on a similar mission to reassure a NATO ally. 300 soldiers from the command unit of the XVIII Airborne Corps also arrived in Germany, commanded by Lieutenant General Michael E. Corella.
US forces will train with host country forces but will not enter Ukraine for any purpose.
The United States already has about 80,000 troops across Europe in permanent stations and on periodic deployments.
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