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US Must Retain Alaska Combat Brigade to Deter Russia in Arctic - Army Chief

Sputnik News

20:17 24.02.2016

US Army Chief General Mark Milley thinks that the US should maintain the 4th Infantry Brigade Airborne Combat Team in Alaska to deter Russia in the Arcict and Northern Pacific.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States should maintain the 4th Infantry Brigade Airborne Combat Team in Alaska, the Arctic brigade, for at least another year to deter Russia in the Arctic and Northern Pacific, US Army Chief General Mark Milley told the US Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.

'I have concluded… that Russia is not only acting aggressively in Europe, they are also asserting themselves in the Pacific and specifically in the Arctic,' Milley stated. 'So I think it would be contrary to US strategic national security interests to go ahead and pull out 425 [Arctic Brigade] at this time.'

As recently as last month, the US Army was considering cutting 2,000 military personnel from the United States' only Arctic combat brigade, a measure that was strongly opposed by Alaska lawmakers.

Milley argued against the proposal to cut personnel from the 4th Infantry Airborne Brigade in Alaska, noting the team provides to 'only airborne vertical insertion forced entry capability' available to the US Pacific Command.

In a US Department of Defense assessment, Russia was deemed the most advanced nation in developing the Arctic militarily.

Moscow has stated it has no intention to 'militarize' the Arctic, but maintains defense of the Arctic as among the main priorities for the Russian armed forces during peacetime.


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