Tags: Russia | odierno | troops | europe | russian | threat

Gen. Odierno Prepared to Face Russian Threat With Fewer Troops

By    |   Saturday, 11 Jul 2015 12:29 PM

The Army's top general wants to add troops along with tanks and other heavy equipment in Germany to bolster resources – and to deal with the rising threat from Russia in Ukraine.

Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, tells The Wall Street Journal  he intends to designate the entire Colorado-based 4th Infantry Division as a so-called regionally aligned force for Europe, meaning the division’s brigades, helicopters and logistics specialists would regularly deploy to Europe to conduct security exercises.

A Georgia-based brigade now serves as the Army’s rotational force in Europe.

The plan, which will allow the division’s intelligence experts to focus on the threat from Russia, would be implemented over the next two years, according to the Journal.

Odierno said adding tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and other equipment would allow the United States to move forces quickly to help North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations.

"It would allow us to reinforce quickly, if we had to reinforce NATO," he tells the Journal.

"We hope that the Russians wouldn’t [create a crisis], but we always must be prepared," he adds. "We have to figure out how to reinforce those companies that are forward."

Since Russia’s intervention in Ukraine last year, U.S. Army soldiers in Europe "have been a near-constant presence in the Baltics and Poland, " Stars and Stripes reports.

And with troops "spread thin across NATO’s eastern flank with Russia, it raises the question of whether sufficient forces are in place should Moscow attempt to challenge a member state," Stars and Stripes notes.

Odierno tells the Journal if the Army is forced to cut troops any further, it would have to curb overseas deployments. There are plans already to slash 40,000 troops over the next two years,  reducing forces below 450,000 soldiers, .

"I am very concerned about the size of the force — we cannot go any lower than 450,000," he said. "If we do, we will have to stop doing something. We are not going to meet our requirements in the Middle East, plus our requirements in Europe, plus our requirements in Korea and around the Pacific. Something is going to have to give."

His comments come a day after Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the nominee to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said Moscow "presents the greatest threat to our national security."

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The Army's top general wants to add troops along with tanks and other heavy equipment in Germany to bolster resources - and to deal with the rising threat from Russia in Ukraine.
odierno, troops, europe, russian, threat
389
2015-29-11
Saturday, 11 Jul 2015 12:29 PM
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