- Title: U.S. military vows more complex training in Europe to deter Russia
- Date: 8th January 2017
- Summary: BREMERHAVEN, GERMANY (JANUARY 8, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF AMERICAN ROLL-ON ROLL-OFF CARRIER (ARC) VESSEL MOORED AT BREMERHAVEN PORT, U.S. TANKS PARKED ON PIER VARIOUS OF TANKS DRIVING PAST DEPUTY COMMANDER OF U.S. EUROPEAN COMMAND, U.S. AIR FORCE LIEUTENANT GENERAL TIM RAY, TALKING TO REPORTERS PHOTOGRAPHER (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPUTY COMMANDER OF U.S. EUROPEAN COMMAND, U.S. AIR FORCE LIEUTENANT GENERAL TIM RAY, SAYING: "The decision was made to do what's called European reassurance initiative. It was aimed to do several things: it was meant to do more rotational presence of our forces, to improve the exercises that we participate in, to help individual countries as they improve their capacity and certainly for us to do more with infrastructure, to improve that. This is part of that plan. These forces here were a direct response to the destabilizing efforts of the Russian government in the Ukraine." CAMERA (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPUTY COMMANDER OF U.S. EUROPEAN COMMAND, U.S. AIR FORCE LIEUTENANT GENERAL TIM RAY, SAYING: "We have done a great deal over the past two years in investment and the investment this year will exceed three billion (USD). It's going to include more naval, air, ground and special operations, rotational forces. It's going to improve our exercises with different partner countries throughout the year. It's going to help improve the infrastructure and to spend those dollars on training and integration with our partners. So the significance of this right here is part of what we as the Americans are doing to support the joint efforts, and of course a lot of what we are doing is alongside NATO allies." SOLDIERS CARRYING BAGS PEACE FLAG ERECTED BY PROTESTERS POSTER SHOWING U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AND GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, PROTESTER HEARD SHOUTING "GET THE ARMY OUT OF SCHOOLS" CAMPER VAN / PROTESTERS
- Embargoed: 23rd January 2017 16:20
- Keywords: NATO Russia U.S. military deployment equipment tanks Atlantic Resolve
- Location: BREMERHAVEN, GERMANY
- City: BREMERHAVEN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: NATO,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0015Y7Z6TJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: AUDIO QUALITY AS INCOMING
The U.S. military on Sunday (January 8) vowed to increase the scope and complexity of its European training exercises to deter Russian aggression, as more U.S. tanks, trucks and other equipment arrived in Germany for a big buildup on NATO's eastern flank.
"These forces here were a direct response to the destabilizing efforts of the Russian government in the Ukraine," U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Tim Ray, deputy commander of U.S. European Command, told Reuters.
Ray underscored the United States' "rock-solid commitment to Europe" in the northern German port of Bremerhaven, where he marked the arrival in recent days of some 2,800 pieces of military equipment that will be used by nearly 4,000 U.S. troops in exercises in NATO states near Russia.
The U.S. and NATO buildup in eastern Europe comes days after U.S. intelligence agencies accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering an effort to help Republican Donald Trump's electoral chances by discrediting Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Ray said the U.S. military's nearly 70,000 service members in Europe were adapting to rapidly changing strategic challenges such as Russia's military operations in Ukraine, migrant flows from Syria, and Islamist radicalism, as evidenced by a truck attack in Berlin that killed 12 people in December.
The U.S. military and NATO are seeking to boost their ability to quickly respond to emerging threats by pre-positioning supplies and equipment across Europe, while upgrading airfields, ranges and other infrastructure after years of neglect.
"Investment this year will exceed three billion (USD). It's going to include more naval, air, ground and special operations, rotational forces. It's going to improve our exercises with different partner countries throughout the year. It's going to help improve the infrastructure and to spend those dollars on training and integration with our partners," Ray said.
The newly-arrived tanks and trucks were just one part of a larger force that included equipment in "space, cyberspace, the air and sea," he said.
The U.S. and Polish military are gearing up for a large "massing" exercise at the end of January.
U.S. officials say this year's military exercises will focus on better integrating disparate military components and domains, instead of focusing on single areas of concern, such as air superiority, as they were in the past.
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