Category Archives: Europe

Saber Strike: NATO rushes thousands of troops, including air defence systems, to Poland and Baltic states “to boost readiness on its eastern flank”

NATO’s Saber Strike 18 exercises involving some 18,000 troops from 19 nations will begin on June 3 in Poland and the Baltic states, as the Western alliance looks to boost readiness on its eastern flank.

The maneuvers will run through June 15 and come as Poland has indicated it is considering a proposal to host a permanent contingent of U.S. troops in the way that Germany and Italy have done since World War II.

The United States leads a multinational NATO battle group in Poland, while allies Germany, Britain, and Canada command three others in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, where the Saber Strike maneuvers will be held.

“The long-standing U.S. Army Europe-led cooperative training exercise is designed to enhance readiness and interoperability among allies and regional partners,” the U.S. Army said.

It added that the maneuvers will “demonstrate the alliance’s determination and ability to act as one in response to any aggression.”

The United States and NATO have bolstered their presence in Poland and elsewhere on the alliance’s eastern flank since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

An “information document” by the Polish Defense Ministry seen by news agencies suggests that Warsaw could spend $1.5 billion to $2 billion to help cover the cost of permanently basing a U.S. tank unit in Poland.

Russia immediately attacked the proposal, saying such a deployment “will not benefit in any way the security and stability on the continent.”

NATO has deployed some 6,000 troops in the region, and the U.S. Army has established a new European headquarters in Poland to command the forces.

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Read More At:

https://www.rferl.org/a/nato-s-massive-saber-strike-maneuvers-in-poland-baltics-set-to-launch/29268187.html

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Russia deploys at least 3x Bastion-P coastal defence missile system towards Taganrog, Rostov Oblast close to Ukraine border

A coastguard ship of the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service has arrested, in the Ukrainian waters of the Azov Sea, a fishing vessel flying the flag of the Russian Federation, with a crew of ten people on board.

“The vessel NORD was stopped 15 miles from the Obytichna spit. It was established during the inspection that it was registered in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. In addition, crew members violated the procedure for leaving the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine. All of them had so-called passports of Russian citizens issued in the city of Kerch,” the press office of the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service reported on Monday.

The vessel, with the crew on board, was arrested and tugged to the port of Berdiansk for further verification and procedural actions. The identity of the detainees will also be established. In addition, a trawl for fishing and five tonnes of seafood were found during the inspection of the vessel.

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Read More At:

http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/494645.html

Several T-72 tanks, BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers and Msta-S self-propelled howitzer spotted around Ufa, Russia heading west

Russia and NATO are escalating a war of words that could quickly devolve into an international arms race.

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a bellicose speech boasting that his country has weapons that would render international missile defense systems “completely useless,” North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) officials shot back, calling the speech “unacceptable and counterproductive.”

“We do not want a new Cold War or a new arms race,” NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said in a statement. “All allies support arms control agreements which build trust and confidence, for everyone’s benefit.”

Read More At:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/russia-nato-launching-cold-war-173323725.html

 

 

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BMPs (infantry fighting vehicles) moving through the streets of Hrodna, Belarus, close to Poland and Lithuania borders

Russia’s state-owned news agencies Pravda and RIA Novosti reported 22 January that the US’s Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) intends to study the infrastructure of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Finland and Poland for wartime preparedness. All of these countries, apart from Moldova, have borders with Russia.

The final DLA reports will (reportedly) include “data on sources of water and products, fuel, medicines, industrial equipment and clothing as well as information on construction materials and equipment, production capacities and mobilization opportunities. In addition, the US military is reported to be interested in the transport infrastructure of these countries – ports, roads, airports, bridges and ferries”.

Read More At:

https://www.ooskanews.com/story/2018/01/russian-state-media-claims-us-military-looking-water-and-wartime-preparedness-belarus

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US continues to deploy military equipment into Europe, including Apache, Black Hawk, Chinook helicopters

The US and its European allies have been boosting their presence in Eastern Europe in recent months, responding to a period of tense relations with Russia. Now NATO forces are looking for ways to reestablish military capabilities that have eroded since the end of the Cold War.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other NATO military leaders are set to review changes to the military bloc’s command structure next month, with an eye on enhancing their rapid-deployment abilities and reinforcing their supply lines.

“Fast-evolving security challenges mean new demands on our command,” NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told Stars and Stripes. “So work is underway to ensure that the NATO command structure remains robust, agile and fit for purpose.”

A NATO internal report seen by German news outlet Der Spiegel concluded that the bloc’s ability to rapidly deploy throughout Europe has “atrophied since the end of the Cold War.”

Read More At:

http://www.businessinsider.com/nato-changes-to-command-structure-in-europe-amid-tension-with-russia-2017-10?IR=T

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Yet another huge US military shipment from Maryland toward Belgium with ‘Freedom’ and hundreds of MRAPs/MATVs

ARC Freedom ready for another trip toward Europe fully loaded with US military equipment.

Canada sends about 130 personnel and four (some say five) CF-18 into Romania

Five pilots from 409 Squadron and their five CF-18 Hornets departed 4 Wing Cold Lake Wednesday, Aug. 16 for Romania.

Part of the mission will include air policing while the other part will focus on training and engagement with the Romanian Air Force (RoAF). These duties will alternate on a weekly basis.

Wing Commander Col. Paul Doyle commented that this deployment is related to Russian activity in the Black Sea.

“The Black Sea is an active area and it’s active because of the events that transpired in Crimea with the NATO response to the illegal annexation of Crimea on the part of the Russians,” Doyle said. “We stand together as an alliance towards this. We see the Russians are flying in the Black Sea because there are NATO ships that are in the Black Sea.”

Doyle explained that the role of the pilots while conducting air policing missions will be to demonstrate a presence in the area and escort Russian planes back to their air space.

“It’s a presence to show that we have the capacity and the capability to be there close to what’s going on,” Doyle explained. “We don’t do anything aggressive. You maintain a decent amount of separation from the aircraft and it’s understood what we’re doing when we do that.”

The pilots will be flying with the Romanians that are based out of Constanta, located on the Black Sea coast. It is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Romania, founded around 600 BC.

The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force has been in Romania since April and 409 Squadron will be relieving them.

One of the pilots explained that this is a NATO commitment through Operation Reassurance meant to reassure Canada’s allies of NATO solidarity.

The total number of Canadians in Romania will be 130.

The trip to Romania began with a flight to Bagotville, Que., where the pilots will spend one day. Then they fly to Prestwick, Scotland, and finally over to Constanta, Romania. Given the stops in each city to become accustomed to the time change, and in case of poor weather, the pilots expect to arrive Aug. 20.

Mayor Craig Copeland and Member of Parliament David Yurdiga were present to wish the pilots well before they deployed.

“What the base here is all about is not only protecting Canada but to go over where there’s issues in the world,” Mayor Copeland said. “We’ve got the best pilots in all of the world right here in Canada so we’re proud and you know our thoughts and prayers are with them when they’re there overseas, no matter what mission they’re on.”

The mission itself begins Sept. 1 and will continue until Dec. 31.

http://www.coldlakesun.com/2017/08/17/409-squadron-deploys-to-romania