The United States will send 20,000 troops to Europe in May for the biggest military exercises on the continent since before the fall of the Berlin Wall, according to Reuters.
U.S. Maj. Gen. Barre Seguin said the exercises, centered in Germany, will underscore the U.S. commitment to NATO, according to the news service.
“This really demonstrates transatlantic unity and the U.S. commitment to NATO,” said Seguin, who serves as deputy chief of staff for strategic employment, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.
As part of the exercises, the U.S. Army will assess its preparedness to move soldiers overseas to the Netherlands and Belgium and then east through Germany and Poland. After joining U.S. personnel stationed throughout Europe and 18 other NATO allies’ military forces constituting around 37,000 troops in all, the U.S. forces will return to the U.S.
“We have not demonstrated this ability to rapidly reinforce, from a transatlantic perspective … for 25 years or so,” Seguin told reporters.
The announcement comes after NATO sent battalions to Poland and the Baltics in hopes of deterring future Russian incursions after the nation annexed the territory of Crimea from Ukraine. President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump supporters at Pa. rally ‘upset’ after Democrats introduce impeachment articles Trump on removal of protester at rally: ‘We don’t want to be politically correct’ Trump rails against FBI, impeachment during Pennsylvania rally MORE, meanwhile, claimed some European allies were “delinquent” at a recent NATO summit in London.
“We’re going into an era of strategic competition in peacetime,” Seguin said, according to Reuters. “The alliance has reorientated.”