Statele Unite vor muta avioane de luptă F-35 și elicoptere de atac Apache care se află deja în Europa în țările baltice și pe flancul estic al NATO, potrivit unui oficial al Apărării de la Washington, citat de CNN.

Aproximativ 800 de soldați dintr-un batalion de infanterie vor fi mutați din Italia în regiunea baltică, a menționat oficialul.

Patru aparate F-35 vor fi trimise din Germania în țările baltice, iar alte 4 vor fi mobilizate pe flancul sud-estic al NATO.

20 de elicoptere Apache din Germania se vor îndrepta spre țările baltice, iar 12 aflate în Grecia vor fi trimise în Polonia.

Forțele vor ajunge la destinație săptămâna aceasta, potrivit oficialului citat de CNN.

Președintele SUA, Joe Biden, a ținut să precizeze clar că acestea sunt manevre strict defensive si vizeaza intarirea Flancului Estic al NATO in fata posturii agresive a Rusiei si a invadarii militare a Ucrainei de aceasta.

stirea publicata de Stars and Stripes :

President Joe Biden on Tuesday ordered an additional 800 U.S. troops, more than 30 helicopters and as many as eight F-35 fighter jets now in Europe to NATO countries on the alliance’s eastern flank as Russian troops begin to move into Ukraine.

The roughly 800 U.S. troops will deploy to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to “reinforce and reassure our NATO allies today in response to Russian admissions that it will not withdraw its forces from Belarus,” the president said in a public address from the White House.

The troops are part of an U.S. infantry battalion task force in Italy that will move to the Baltic region in the coming days, a senior defense official said Tuesday on condition of anonymity. An attack aviation battalion of 20 AH-64 helicopters from Germany will also join them.

The official did not name the task force, but Italy is home to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, which is known as the Army’s contingency response force in Europe, specializing in providing rapid forces when needed in the region, according to its website.

Additionally, “up to eight” F-35 strike fighter jets will move from Germany “to several operating locations along NATO’s eastern flank,” according to the official.

The defense official did not reveal the strike fighters’ squadron, but the Air Force sent F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany earlier this month to bolster defenses. Those jets are from the 34th Fighter Squadron, 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base in Utah.

An attack aviation task force of 12 AH-64 helicopters will also move this week from Greece to Poland, where the U.S. already has approximately 8,700 troops — about 4,700 of whom deployed to Poland from the U.S. in the past three weeks, the official said. The official did not specify the helicopters’ squadron.

“These forces — comprised of aviation elements and ground forces — will move within the [European] area of operations to NATO’s northeastern and southeastern flanks in coming days and are expected to be in place later this week,” the official said. “These additional personnel are being repositioned to reassure our NATO allies, deter any potential aggression against NATO member states and train with host-nation forces.”

Last month, Russia sent thousands of troops to Belarus for what it said were joint military exercise. Since then, Russia has amassed more than 150,000 troops flanking Ukraine from its northern and eastern borders.

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