Contact Us
Make My Homepage

US Weighs Military Exercises in Eastern Europe

The United States is considering deploying about 150 soldiers for military exercises to begin in Poland and Estonia in the next few weeks, a Western official said Saturday. The exercises would follow Russia’s buildup of forces near its border with Ukraine and its annexation last month of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said earlier this week that the U.S. is looking for ways to reassure its NATO allies of its strong commitment to collective defense. The Pentagon’s press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said in a statement Friday that American officials are considering a range of additional measures to bolster air, maritime and ground readiness in Europe.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel holds a briefing at the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Ground exercises in Poland and Estonia would last about two weeks but such exercises would continue on a rotating basis off and on over time, the official said, and other locations in Eastern Europe would be considered. The official was not authorized to discuss the plan by name because it has not been made final and requested anonymity.

No specific date for the deployment of an Army company, which usually consists of 150 soldiers, has been set but an announcement was expected next week, the official said.

Kirby’s statement about additional measures didn’t offer specifics. “Some of those activities will be pursued bilaterally with individual NATO nations. Some will be pursued through the alliance itself,” he said.

On Thursday, Hagel met at the Pentagon with his Polish counterpart, Tomasz Siemoniak, and told reporters that they had identified new areas of military-to-military cooperation, including special operations forces, air forces and additional military exercises and training, as part of their discussion of closer defense ties.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Siemoniak said the decision to deploy U.S. ground forces to Poland had been made on a political level and that details were being worked out, the newspaper reported.

“The idea until recently was that there were no more threats in Europe and no need for a U.S. presence in Europe any more,” Siemoniak said, speaking through an interpreter during a visit Friday to the newspaper. “Events show that what is needed is a re-pivot, and that Europe was safe and secure because America was in Europe.”

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Best of the Web


Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://nj1015.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!