About 160 soldiers from the Army's III Armored Corps at Fort Hood deployed to Europe Monday, to join some 7,000 additional U.S. military personnel intended to support the NATO Response Force there.
Among the troops are personnel from the 96th Heavy Equipment Transportation Company and the 297th Inland Cargo Transfer Company, both part of the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command and the 11th Corps Signal Brigade.
The NATO Response Force was activated for the first time in history on Feb. 24 in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Col. Matthew Ruedi, deputy commanding officer of the 13th ESC, said, “Elements of our heavy transportation company have deployed to Europe to reassure NATO allies, deter Russian aggression, and are prepared to support a range of other operations in the region.”
Ruedi also said families were kept informed as the unit got ready to deploy. “It’s not just our soldiers that we ensure are ready for this mission, but we do everything we can to make sure families are ready, too,” Ruedi said. “Things can change rapidly in situations like this. Making sure we communicate with our families not only helps manage expectations, but it also contributes to our overall readiness.”
Army III Corps troops at Fort Carson, Colorado, have also been put in a heightened state of readiness.
More than 2,500 Fort Hood troops were already in Germany, Poland and other parts of Europe as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, the U.S. mission to show solidarity with NATO allies.