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Military

Pentagon orders more Fort Bragg soldiers to Europe as Russia-Ukraine tensions escalate

United States Russia Ukraine US Troops
Nathan Posner
/
AP
Members of the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army prepare for deployment to Poland from Fort Bragg, N.C. on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. They are among soldiers the Department of Defense is sending in a demonstration of American commitment to NATO allies worried at the prospect of Russia invading Ukraine.

The Pentagon is sending more Fort Bragg soldiers to Europe because of tensions surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This time, it’s 300 soldiers to help handle ammunition and explosives. A spokesman from the Pentagon says the soldiers will go to Germany to support a U.S. armored unit that deployed earlier.

"These are purely defensive forces," Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby said. “All these posture adjustments are being done … in full constant consultation with the NATO allies in question."

About 5,000 Fort Bragg soldiers had already been sent to Europe, in two waves. All but about 300 soldiers were sent to the Ukraine border in Poland. Most of them were paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne.

Those other Bragg soldiers, of the 18th Airborne Corps, have set up a task force headquarters in Germany. Also, at least eight F-15 fighter aircrafts from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro were reportedly sent to the region.

Pentagon and White House officials have repeatedly said the U.S. forces are there to support NATO Allies and will not be sent into Ukraine to fight.

"[We're] going to continue to look for ways to bolster NATO, to look for innovative ways, creative ways to make sure that [Russian President Vladimir Putin] understands how seriously we take [NATO] Article V and how seriously we take our collective security requirements inside that alliance, how seriously we consider the importance of alliances and partnerships,” Kirby said. “We've invested a lot of time in the last year in revitalizing alliances and partnerships in Europe and around the world."

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