The rotational deployment of US and NATO forces in eastern Europe is intended to produce the appearance of a permanent ground force to deter Russia, US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told the press on Wednesday.
“What we want to do is rotate armored brigades into Europe on a routine basis, heel to toe, to increase ground capabilities,” Milley stated.
Asked if the troop rotations would be so close that they would be virtually permanent, Milley stated, “That is the idea.”
Russia has repeatedly warned that NATO’s attempts to expand on its borders, as well as more recently amass troops and equipment, constitute provocative acts that are contrary to previous agreements and can undermine regional and global stability.
For 2017, the US Department of Defense requested $3.4 billion in funds for the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI), a significant portion of which will be allocated to the US Army.
Under the ERI, the US Army intends to move an armored brigade into Europe, on a rotational basis, to bolster the existing cavalry regiment and 173rd Airborne Brigade.
The United States will also be prepositioning additional military equipment in Europe, including tanks, armored combat vehicles and artillery.