April 22, 2014
The U.S. is sending about 600 ground troops to Eastern Europe this week to “reassure” allies there as Washington resumes its campaign of pressure on Russia over the Ukraine standoff.
About 150 soldiers from the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), based in Italy, are being sent to each of four countries — Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia — in rotational deployments that the Pentagon says will be sustained until further notice.
The paratroopers will take weapons and ammunition for “infantry exercises” and be in place by the end of the week, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters at the Pentagon. The roughly company-sized units will remain in place for about a month, and then new ones will follow them until at least the end of the year.