In a telephone interview with Reuters from Wiesbaden, Germany, Lieutenant-General Frederick “Ben” Hodges, commander of the U.S. Army in Europe (USAREUR), talked about the United States’ plans to station by the end of 2015 around 150 tanks and armored vehicles in Europe for use by U.S. forces training here.
Hodges said he expected the U.S. contribution to this, known as “Operation Atlantic Resolve”, to go on throughout 2015 and into 2016.
Some of the tanks and vehicles could be placed in Poland, Romania or the Baltic states, Lieutenant-General Ben Hodges, told Reuters.
“By the end of … 2015, we will have gotten all the equipment for a heavy brigade, that means three battalions plus a reconnaissance squadron, the artillery headquarters, engineers, and it will stay in Europe,” the USAREUR commander said.
“You are talking about 150-ish, maybe 160 M1 tanks, M2 Bradley fighting vehicles, 24 self-propelled howitzers.”
No decision has yet been taken on where the armored vehicles will be kept.
Hodges explained he expected at least a third of it to remain at U.S. training centers in Germany. “The United States may consider distributing some of the equipment to a Baltic country, Poland or Romania if it made strategic sense and if that country wanted it kept there,” he added.
“Keeping enough equipment in Europe for a U.S. armored brigade avoids the need for troops coming from the United States for exercises to bring their own kit.
It also means the equipment is there if the United States needed to reinforce Eastern Europe quickly in an emergency,” writes Reuters.
*Photo: Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes