Does this sound like a NATO that’s ready to defend Europe in war? As documented on this site, this is only a continuation of what’s been reported on the ground in Europe, several times.
HOHENFELS, Germany — Less than three years after the United States Army sent home the last of its tanks that were permanently based in Europe, American commanders have been forced to rely on weapons shipped back temporarily or hardware borrowed from allies in the expanding effort to deter the latest threats from Russia with a fraction of the forces it had once deployed across the Continent.
Mustering the necessary troops and equipment for the mission here can be a challenge, said Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the Army’s commanding general in Europe. The number of permanently stationed soldiers on the Continent [sic] has dropped by 35 percent since 2012, and the Army has reduced some of its vehicles, weapons and support equipment or relocated it to other bases.
The Black Hawk helicopters used in a NATO exercise at the training center here in August, for instance, were rotated in for nine months from Fort Stewart, Ga., General Hodges said. Bringing over more helicopters requires either the multiple weeks to bring them by ship or the extra money to bring them by cargo plane.
So he has to go borrowing.
“I don’t have bridges, I don’t have the trucks that can carry tanks, we don’t have enough helicopters to do what we need to do,” General Hodges said. “Practicing with British helicopters here is an essential part of it. Using British and German bridges, using Hungarian air defense is part of it.”
Full article: Despite Cuts, U.S. Army Prepares for Threats in Europe (NY Times)