These are the first of 2,000 Soldiers to arrive in Europe following the Pentagon’s announcement of additional forces moving from the United States to Europe in support of our NATO allies. The XVIII Airborne Corps, which serves as America's Contingency Corps, will provide a Joint Task Force-capable headquarters in Germany, as 1,700 Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division deploy to Poland. These moves are designed to respond to the current security environment and reinforce NATO’s eastern flank. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Joshua Cowden)
These are the first of 2,000 Soldiers to arrive in Europe following the Pentagon’s announcement of additional forces moving from the United States to Europe in support of our NATO allies. The XVIII Airborne Corps, which serves as America's Contingency Corps, will provide a Joint Task Force-capable headquarters in Germany, as 1,700 Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division deploy to Poland. These moves are designed to respond to the current security environment and reinforce NATO’s eastern flank. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Joshua Cowden) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Joshua Cowden) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON — Another 3,000 troops from the 82nd Airborne Division will move to Europe in the coming days, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III is temporarily repositioning 160 troops training Ukraine's military out of the country.

The moves come in the face of further signs of Russian escalation on its borders with Ukraine, said Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden's National Security Advisor. Sullivan spoke at the White House, yesterday.

"As we've said before, we are in the window when an invasion could begin at any time should [Russian President] Vladimir Putin decide to order it," the national security advisor said. Sullivan said this new invasion of Ukraine — Russia invaded the country in 2014 and illegally annexed Crimea — could come at any time."

Sullivan said the United States is ready no matter which decision Putin makes. The United States will negotiate if the Russian leader so chooses, or "we are also ready to respond decisively, alongside those allies and partners, should Russia choose to take military action," he said.

Various tactical vehicles assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment await to be loaded onto trucks at the 7th Army Training Command’s Rose Barracks Air Field, Vilseck, Germany, Feb. 9, 2022. The Squadron will deploy to Romania in the coming days to augment the more than 900 U.S. service members already in Romania. This move is designed to respond to the current security environment and to reinforce the deterrent and defensive posture on NATO’s eastern flank. (U.S. Army photo by Gertrud Zach)
Various tactical vehicles assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment await to be loaded onto trucks at the 7th Army Training Command’s Rose Barracks Air Field, Vilseck, Germany, Feb. 9, 2022. The Squadron will deploy to Romania in the coming days to augment the more than 900 U.S. service members already in Romania. This move is designed to respond to the current security environment and to reinforce the deterrent and defensive posture on NATO’s eastern flank. (U.S. Army photo by Gertrud Zach) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Gertrud Zach) VIEW ORIGINAL

The response to a Russian invasion would include severe economic sanctions, with similar packages imposed by the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and other countries, Sullivan said. "It would also include changes to NATO and American force posture along the eastern flank of NATO, and it would include continued support to Ukraine," he said.

A total of 160 members of the Florida National Guard have been deployed to Ukraine since late November training and advising and mentoring Ukrainian armed forces. The troops, assigned to the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, are part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine.

"They are departing Ukraine and will reposition elsewhere in Europe," Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said in a written statement Saturday. "The secretary made this decision out of an abundance of caution — with the safety and security of our personnel foremost in mind — and informed by the State Department's guidance on U.S. personnel in Ukraine."

U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to 3rd Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment stand in formation during a handover, take over ceremony at Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland, Feb. 11, 2022. The ceremony demonstrated NATO's continued commitment to the collective defense and security of our allies on NATO's eastern flank. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Adrian Patoka)
U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to 3rd Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment stand in formation during a handover, take over ceremony at Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland, Feb. 11, 2022. The ceremony demonstrated NATO's continued commitment to the collective defense and security of our allies on NATO's eastern flank. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Adrian Patoka) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Adrian Patoka) VIEW ORIGINAL

Yesterday, a senior defense official confirmed that another 3,000 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, will deploy to Europe. "This second tranche of airborne soldiers will join in Poland the first tranche of 1,700 soldiers and key enablers that Secretary Austin ordered there on February 2nd," said the senior defense official speaking on background. "Nearly two-thirds of this first tranche has already arrived. They are commanded by Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue."

Deployment of 300 members of the 18th Airborne Corps headquarters element to Germany has been completed, the official said. That element is led by Army Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla.

"All told, these 5,000 additional personnel comprise a highly mobile and flexible force, capable of multiple missions," the official said. "They are being deployed to reassure our NATO allies, deter any potential aggression against NATO's eastern flank, train with host-nation forces and contribute to a wide range of contingencies. They will report to Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, the commander of U.S. European Command."

U.S. Army Soldiers from 5-4 Air Defense Artillery Battalion prepare for a convoy from Germany to Romania, Feb. 7, 2022. Enhanced vigilance in Central and Southeastern Europe is a strong reflection of the will, unity and cohesion of the NATO Alliance by demonstrating readiness in multi-national operations. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Rene Rosas)
U.S. Army Soldiers from 5-4 Air Defense Artillery Battalion prepare for a convoy from Germany to Romania, Feb. 7, 2022. Enhanced vigilance in Central and Southeastern Europe is a strong reflection of the will, unity and cohesion of the NATO Alliance by demonstrating readiness in multi-national operations. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Rene Rosas) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Rene Rosas) VIEW ORIGINAL

There are more than 80,000 American service members in Europe.

Diplomacy continues. Biden spoke with Putin this morning. A White House release said Biden spoke very plainly about the costs of another Russian invasion of Ukraine. "President Biden was clear that, if Russia undertakes a further invasion of Ukraine, the United States together with our allies and partners will respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs on Russia," the report said. "President Biden reiterated that a further Russian invasion of Ukraine would produce widespread human suffering and diminish Russia's standing. President Biden was clear with President Putin that while the United States remains prepared to engage in diplomacy, in full coordination with our allies and partners, we are equally prepared for other scenarios."

Yesterday Biden participated in a conference with the leaders of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Poland, Romania, the Secretary General of NATO and the Presidents of the European Union. "We have achieved a remarkable level of unity and common purpose — from the broad strategy, down to technical details," Sullivan said. "Whatever happens next, the West is more united than it's been in years. NATO has been strengthened. The alliance is more cohesive, more purposeful, more dynamic than at in any time in recent memory."