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.”
The first contingent of additional U.S. troops arrived in Germany on Friday.
U.S. troops from the 18th Airborne Corps arrived Frday in Wiesbaden, Germany, according to the U.S. military’s European Command, which added they would establish a headquarters in Germany to support 1,700 paratroopers who have been ordered to deploy to Poland.
The U.S. placed 8,500 other U.S. troops on high alert in January to deploy to Europe if necessary. They remain on high alert and NATO defense ministers are expected to discuss adding more reinforcements at their next meeting on February 16-17./VOA/