‘Heightened preparedness’: Some 8,000 U.S. forces notified of potential deployment to Europe

As tensions continue to ratchet on the border of Ukraine and Russia, President Joe Biden’s Pentagon issued an announcement on Monday that added a new layer of seriousness to an already dire potential situation.

According to Fox News, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby announced Monday that a contingent of U.S. forces assigned to various quick response NATO task forces have been alerted to a possible deployment to various parts of the “Eastern flank” of Europe. 

“Secretary Austin has placed a range of units in the United States on a heightened preparedness to deploy, which increases our readiness to provide forces if NATO should activate,” Kirby said during a press briefing.

The news comes on the heels of weekend reports that indicated some 80-90 tons of “lethal aid” had been sent to Ukraine from the United States, with more on the way.

National Response Force

NATO’s National Response Force (NRF) is a “multinational rapid response force comprised of land, air, maritime and Special Operations Forces,” Fox noted.

Kirby took a number of questions from curious reporters, especially given the development of a potential U.S. troop involvement, which was also hinted at earlier by the White House.

“The United States is deeply concerned about the current situation in Europe,” the Pentagon press secretary said.

He added: “We remain keenly focused on Russia’s unusual military activities near the Ukrainian border, including in Belarus, and consulting extensively with our transatlantic allies and partners. The department continues to support diplomatic efforts to deescalate the situation.”

“Now, as the president has said, even as we continue to prioritize diplomacy and dialogue, we must also increase readiness in support of its obligations to the security and defense of NATO and the security of its citizens abroad,” Kirby continued.

The details

Due to the fact that notifications to the units that would comprise the some 8,500 U.S. troops that could be deployed, and likely also due to operational security, details of which U.S. military units would be joining the effort were not made available on Monday, as the Los Angeles Times noted.

Though the country has deployed a reported 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, Russia continues to deny that it will launch any kind of invasion, contrary to what most of the West believes to be the case.

Only time will tell if Russia does, in fact, invade its neighbor, but if it happens, President Biden’s administration will have an entirely new heap of problems it will face.

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