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Military Times: DoD Eyes More Permanent Army Combat Brigades in Europe

army stock photoA Defense Department official has said DoD has initiated talks over plans to permanently transfer at least one U.S. Army brigade combat team to Europe in response to Russia’s military aggression in the continent, Military Times reported Sunday.

Andrew Tilghman writes Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, commander of the U.S. European Command and NATO’s supreme commander, has voiced concerns over the number of current ground troops in Europe.

“We do not have, in my opinion, enough U.S. forces permanently stationed forward … so I believe that the permanent forces forward need to be reviewed,” Breedlove said.

The 173rd Airborne in Italy and the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Germany are the two current Army BCTs that operate in the continent under EUCOM and each BCT consists of between 3,000 and 5,000 uniformed personnel, Tilghman reports.

If DoD approves the plan, an increase of permanent Army troops would be in addition to rotational forces that would operate across Eastern Europe under DoD’s $3.4 billion European Reassurance Initiative, the report said.

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