First U.S. Troops Arrive in Poland to Reinforce NATO Allies in Eastern Europe

Military personnel from the 82nd Airborne Division and 18th Airborne Corps board a C-17 transport plane for deployment to Eastern Europe at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on February 3, 2022. © Bryan Woolston, Reuters

The first American troops arrived in Poland Saturday to reinforce NATO allies in Eastern Europe, Poland’s Defense Ministry said, amid fears Russia may invade neighboring Ukraine.

“As announced, the first elements of the brigade battle group from the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army have arrived in Poland,” a Polish military spokesman said.

The U.S. troops arrived at Rzeszow military base in southeastern Poland, near its border with Ukraine, after U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday ordered the deployment of 1,700 soldiers there. About 4,000 U.S. troops have been stationed in Poland on a rotational basis since 2017.

Biden also ordered troops to Romania and Germany, raising the total number of additional troops to nearly 3,000.

U.S. Army sources have previously said that about 1,700 U.S. service members, primarily from the 82nd Airborne Division, would deploy from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Poland “over the next days.”

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SOURCE: Voice of America, Patsy Widakuswara