He said “these ‘Iron Soldiers’ send a clear signal of our commitment as they round out our joint team’s capability in a very significant way. “The events in 2014, and the trans-Atlantic declarations from the Wales and Warsaw Summits, demonstrate the indivisibility and unity of the alliance in light of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.
“These events forged a commitment, and a plan, to build our defense and deterrence posture in Europe. “Know that our commitment to defense is rock-solid. We must maintain the territorial integrity of our alliance and maintain a Europe that is whole, free, prosperous and at peace,” Ray said. He said the unit’s deployment to Europe was part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, designed to reassure NATO allies and partners in the region after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Ray said the arrival of the combat team was just one aspect of America’s commitment to the region through “increased presence”. He added that “the thousands of Iron Soldiers here are a key part of our joint land, naval, air, space and cyberspace team. “Be assured, the full weight of the U.S. military stands behind these sentinels of freedom,” the general said. Deployed from Fort Carson, Colorado, the 3,500 soldiers and 2,000 vehicles of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team join a recently increased land, sea and air presence in the region, the Department said. It added that the arrival of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team begins a series of back-to-back rotations of U.S. troops and equipment to the region.
“The soldiers and vehicles will mass in Poland and then disperse via convoy across seven locations in Eastern Europe for training and exercises with European allies. “These forces represent one element of America’s commitment to European security, and it is ready to defend that security if called upon,” it said. The U.S. forces, officials added, would train with U.S. allies and partners, ultimately leading to greater interoperability. “We are invested from infrastructure upgrades across the continent, to airfields and ranges; we’re also prepositioning supplies and equipment and exercising with our allies and partners. “We will also increase the scope and complexity of many exercises in our portfolio focusing on joint interoperability, missile defense and crisis-response operations,” Ray said.