Philip Breedlove, chief of the U.S. European Command, has said the command needs additional troops in order to respond to the threat of Russian military action, Military Times reported Monday.
Andrew Tilghman writes that EUCOM moved some forces to the continent’s eastern region after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean region earlier this year and deployed almost 40,000 soldiers on the Ukrainian border.
“As a result of budget and sequester, there are already some reductions that are still on the books,” Breedlove told reporters during his visit to Washington last week.
“So I think the first step in this process is that we develop a mechanism by which we stop [and] re-look those planned actions for Europe,” he added, according to Military Times.
Officials say the U.S. will maintain a rotational military force of 600 soldiers across Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Lithuania this year.
New security missions in Eastern Europe have been covered by EUCOM troops, but U.S.-based military units will deploy later this year to support operations in the region, Tilghman writes.
“We may need to add additional rotational forces to cover the sustained and persistent presence that we are now envisioning,” Breedlove told Military Times.