Mandatory credit: Staff Sgt. Thanh Pham, 24th Press Camp Headquarters
US soldiers conducted maintenance checks on the military equipment that had been offloaded from rail cars, near Zagan, western Poland, Wednesday. The military equipment, including M1 Abrams tanks, traveled from the US to Poland as part of a large-scale NATO build up in the eastern European country. Over the last few days several thousand pieces of military hardware and troops have been sent to Poland for large scale military drills.
The deployment, pushed through as US President-elect Donald Trump heads to the White House later this month, was intended to act as a reassurance to the US’ NATO partners about Washington’s commitment against a supposed Russian threat to former Soviet Bloc countries. The vehicles, including Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles from the Army Service Component Command of the US Army, will be reportedly be used for activities in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.
The US has deployed its troops to Poland as part of a large-scale military buildup near the border with Russia with which NATO has been at odds over a range of issues including the Ukraine crisis. This is the first batch of American soldiers dispatched to Poland since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s. The deployment brings tp more than three-thousand the number of American troops in the east European country. The move has drawn an immediate reaction from Russia, with the Kremlin slamming it as a threat at its doorstep. The US troop deployment is part of NATO eastward expansion, which was stepped up in 2014 after Crimea rejoined Russia. Moscow has been a strong opponent of troop deployments by the western alliance in Eastern Europe, saying it’s meant to encircle Russia.