McConville: Army is Busy But Ready

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Gen James McConville speaking
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McConville: Army is Busy But Ready

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville, speaking March 8 at an event hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army, said the force faced “a lot of challenges” over the years and now faces another one with the fighting in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has started an “illegal” war, McConville said, but the Army is ready. 

Thousands More Deploy to Europe Amid Ukraine Crisis

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soldiers deploying
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Thousands More Deploy to Europe Amid Ukraine Crisis

About 7,000 more American troops, including an armored brigade combat team, will deploy to Germany in the coming days as the U.S. moves to further reassure its NATO allies, the Pentagon said Feb. 24.

The announcement came as President Joe Biden announced new sanctions against Russia for launching an invasion of Ukraine with air and missile strikes, armored convoys and ground troops.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “is the aggressor,” Biden said, the Associated Press reported. “Putin chose this war, and now he and his country will bear the consequences.”

Army National Guard Remains Busy at Home, Overseas

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Guard rescues stranded truck
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Army National Guard Remains Busy at Home, Overseas

The number of National Guard soldiers on duty each month in support of the COVID-19 response has begun to go down, and as the pandemic wanes, the mission will end, the director of the Army National Guard said.

“At some point, we’re going to leave a COVID-19 environment,” Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen said Feb. 22 during a webinar hosted by the Center for a New American Security. “If you take that [mission] off our plate right now, that would reduce our operational tempo by a factor of about 15,000 soldiers a month.”

3,000 Soldiers Deploying Amid Russia Tensions

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Stryker brigade
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3,000 Soldiers Deploying Amid Russia Tensions

About 3,000 soldiers are deploying to bolster America’s Eastern European allies as Russia continues to mass troops on its border with Ukraine, the Pentagon announced Feb. 2.

About 1,000 soldiers from a Stryker squadron already in Germany “will reposition to Romania in the coming days,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. These soldiers belong to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, which is stationed in Vilseck, Germany, according to the Pentagon.

The soldiers will bolster the 900 U.S. troops already in Romania, Kirby said.

Soldiers Among 8,500 On Alert Over Russia Tensions

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Airborne soldiers
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Soldiers Among 8,500 On Alert Over Russia Tensions

Soldiers from units such as the 82nd Airborne Division and the 101st Airborne Division are among the 8,500 troops who are on heightened alert over rising tensions in Europe.

Also on alert are elements of the XVIII Airborne Corps and the 4th Infantry Division, as well as additional units from Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Hood, Texas; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Fort Polk, Louisiana; and Fort Stewart, Georgia, Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby said Jan. 27.

New Units Bring Added Capabilities to Army in Europe

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Gen. Christopher Cavoli talks to soldiers.
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New Units Bring Added Capabilities to Army in Europe

Two new units being stood up in Europe will provide the Army with capabilities to “close any gaps” in combat power on the battlefield, the commander of U.S. Army Europe and Africa said.

In remarks at the Fires Conference 2021, hosted virtually by the Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Gen. Christopher Cavoli said the first Multi-Domain Task Force in Europe will “close any gaps in combat ratios that we see in a ground force adversary … with an advantage against us.”

Army to Keep 6 Europe Sites as Demands Grow

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Army to Keep 6 Europe Sites as Demands Grow

Six sites slated to be returned to Germany and Belgium will now be retained by U.S. Army Europe and Africa as the need for facilities grows apace with operational requirements.

The move is a result of a 2018 assessment, directed by DoD, of the sites remaining in Europe. The assessment, conducted by U.S. Army Europe and Africa and Installation Management Command-Europe, found that growth requirements were outpacing facility construction and renovation, according to a press release from U.S. Army Europe and Africa.

‘Strong European Pillar’ Critical to Deter Russia

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‘Strong European Pillar’ Critical to Deter Russia

Predicting that before long, the U.S. will be in an all-out, kinetic conflict in the Indo-Pacific, retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said it’s critical that Europe strengthen its deterrence posture now against threats from Russia.

The prediction, Hodges said, is not based on secret intelligence but on what he has gathered from watching and listening and “how the Chinese have observed our lack of resolve in so many ways ever since Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 … and we didn’t do anything.”

Former Army Europe Commander Speaks at AUSA

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Future War Book Cover
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Former Army Europe Commander Speaks at AUSA

Retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, a former commander of U.S. Army Europe, will discuss his new book, Future War and the Defence of Europe, during an upcoming webinar hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army.

Hodges, who led Army Europe from 2014 through 2017 and is now the Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis, will speak at 2 p.m. Eastern on June 9 as part of AUSA’s Thought Leaders series.