0102 GMT November 18, 2019
US warships started unloading the military hardware, which includes 87 tanks and 144 Bradley fighting vehicles, in the northern German port of Bremerhaven on Friday for eventual transfer to member countries of the military alliance in Eastern Europe to enhance what was described as “deterrence against possible Russian aggression.”
Nearly 3,500 American troops from the 4th Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colorado, will join the military equipment over the next two weeks, marking the outset of Operation Atlantic Resolve, which provides for continuous presence of a US armored brigade combat team in Europe on a nine-month rotational basis.
The deployment is aimed at relieving supposed concerns in newest NATO member nations such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland over what the US-led military alliance has termed as increasingly erratic and belligerent Russia.
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced the move last year, declaring that the force would take part in regular military drills across the region with NATO allies.
At the time, US Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges described the deployment as the "embodiment of the United States' commitment to deterring aggression and defending our European Allies and partners."
This is while other NATO countries are also boosting their military role near the Russian border, with the UK sending warplanes to the Black Sea area, while a battalion of troops, tanks and light armor will deploy in Estonia in the spring, backed by French and Danish troops. Additionally, Germany plans to deploy troops and tanks to Lithuania.
Albania, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania and Slovenia will also contribute to the military presence in what NATO has described as its Enhanced Forward Presence.
The US military further intends to relocate a Stryker unit from Germany to Poland as part of that force.
The American military also plans to deploy a combat aviation brigade with about 10 Chinook and 50 Black Hawk helicopters and 1,800 servicemen from Fort Drum, New York, and a battalion with 24 Apache attack helicopters and 400 troops from Fort Bliss, Texas.
The force will be headquartered in Germany with a number of the fighting aircraft stationed in Latvia, Romania and Poland near the Russian border.