The United States has put 8,500 troops on alert to provide support in the event of an activation of the NATO Response Force in the event of an unexpected situation in the Ukraine crisis.
U.S. Department of Defense (Pentagon) spokesman John Kirby said they are on high alert for 8,500 troops to provide support in the event of an activation of the NATO Response Force in the event of an unexpected situation in the Ukraine crisis.
Tensions have risen over Russia’s buildup on the Ukrainian border. The United States is making plans to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank.
Russia has escalated tensions on its border with Ukraine, Kirby said at a daily press conference. In this respect, they are ready to respond to a number of unexpected situations, including support for the NATO Response Force, if mobilized,” he said.
Kirby said 8,500 troops have been put on alert at this stage and will continue to provide details based on decisions in the coming days. Kirby said that these troops would only be dispatched if the NATO Response Force was activated, and underlined that no decisions had been made at this stage.
Those troops could be sent from the United States or shifted from the region, spokeswoman Kirby said.
NO PLANS TO SEND TROOPS TO UKRAINE
Responding to a question about whether these troops or the U.S. military had any plans to send another force to Ukraine, Kirby recalled an earlier statement by U.S. President Joe Biden that there were no such plans.
“As you know, we still have some training and support forces in Ukraine and they continue to do their job,” Kirby said.
The United States is already trying to deter Russia with heavy economic sanctions, Kirby said, adding that the on-alert force is only a strong message of their commitment to NATO.
THERE WILL BE COMBAT TROOPS
Asked about the capabilities of the troops on alert, Kirby said the prepared troops are a composite force consisting of combat teams, logistical support, medical, aviation, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and transport units.
Kirby noted that the army’s normal shipment notification is 10-day, but with the new alert order, these soldiers have a 5-day period.
Spokesman Kirby said they also had a clear picture of what was happening on the Ukrainian border and that Russia’s attack on Ukraine was imminent.