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US to deploy 260 more troops to Europe to back Ukraine war

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A 2015 photo of the entrance sign outside of Gate 3 at Fort Campbell, Ky. Fort Campbell is home to the 101st Airborne Division. (File photo)

The US Army has declared that it will deploy 260 more troops to Europe in support of its allies in the NATO military alliance as the war in Ukraine enters its seventh month.

The American soldiers will be drawn from the 101st Airborne Division’s Sustainment Brigade headquarters at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the Army said in a Friday statement cited in a report by the US-based military news outlet Stars & Stripes.

“This temporary deployment is in response to the invasion of Ukraine and is not a permanent change to the overall Army force posture in Europe,” the service further claimed in the statement, noting that the troops will help “support the United States’ unrelenting commitment to our European and NATO allies” during the fall deployment.

The US Army, however, did not reveal where the soldiers would deploy in Europe, though the Pentagon sent troops in the early months of the war to NATO member nations near Ukraine, including Germany and Poland.

There are nearly 100,000 American forces in Europe now – up from about 80,000 prior to Russia’s launch of its special military operation in Ukraine on February 24 on national security grounds in face of NATO’s persisting bid to expand further towards the Russian border.

Known as the “lifeliners,” the US Army brigade specializes in logistics and personnel services to support deployed forces, according to the service.

The latest US troop deployment to Europe came just days after a Pentagon official confirmed the delivery of American anti-radar missiles to Ukraine in a bid to facilitate the targeting of Russian radar systems by Ukrainian warplanes.

The US Defense Department's Undersecretary for Policy Colin Kahl declared at a press briefing on Monday that Pentagon had shipped "a number" of the missiles to Ukraine without elaborating on how many and when they had been sent, CNN reported Tuesday, noting that the official did not explicitly state what type of anti-radiation missile had been shipped.

Citing a military official, however, the broadcaster identified the type of the missile sent as "the AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM)," marking the first time the Pentagon has acknowledged sending the previously undisclosed missile to Ukraine.

The senior Pentagon official disclosed that the US had also helped Kiev with the delivery of spare parts for Russian Mig-29 warplanes to keep Ukraine's Soviet-era fighter jets flying. Kahl then mentioned the missiles, saying they "can have effects on Russian radars and other things."

The missiles, the report added, can be used to target Russian anti-aircraft radar systems — such as the S-400 — which have made it very difficult for the Ukrainian Air Force to operate over large swaths of the country's airspace. The missiles can also target Russian counter-battery radars, which are used to target Ukrainian artillery.

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