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US Sends Troops, Tanks for Drills in Eastern Europe

Sputnik News

09:24 25.03.2015(updated 10:36 25.03.2015)

US forces are taking part in a series of joint exercises in Eastern Europe in what Pentagon describes as a sign of free movement within NATO and Washington's commitment to its East European allies.

Over 1,000 US soldiers permanently deployed in Europe were moving across Eastern Europe on Tuesday on several training exercises held as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman said.

About 200 paratroopers with the Army's Italy-based 173rd Airborne Brigade jumped into the Smarden training area in Romania along with heavy artillery equipment including howitzers. Simultaneously, up to 600 soldiers from the Army's Germany-based 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, launched a simulated ground assault from Romania's Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near the Black Sea, The Military Times reported.

At the same time, about 400 soldiers from the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, which has been training lately in the Baltic region and Poland, began 'Operation Dragoon Ride' on Saturday.

From Estonia, the soldiers, along with about 120 vehicles including Stryker combat vehicles, conducted a 1,100-mile 'road march' across five international borders, passing through Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic on their way back to their home station in Vilseck, Germany.

The operation will 'demonstrate the freedom of movement that exists within NATO' and 'will provide a highly visible demonstration of our commitment to the residents in each of the nations and the resolve of NATO as an alliance,' Warren said.


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