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US Tanks, Heavy Equipment Flow into Europe This Week

An Army M1 Abrams tank is offloaded from a cargo ship, Jan. 6, 2017, at a port in Bremerhaven, Germany. (Elizabeth Tarr/U.S. Army)
An Army M1 Abrams tank is offloaded from a cargo ship, Jan. 6, 2017, at a port in Bremerhaven, Germany. (Elizabeth Tarr/U.S. Army)

Army M1 tanks and trucks began arriving in Europe on Jan. 8, marking the beginning of a nine-month rotation of a U.S. armored brigade designed to strengthen deterrence against Russian aggression.

The arrival of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, out of Fort Carson, Colorado, is part of the effort to support Operation Atlantic Resolve.

"The United States is demonstrating its continued commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America's dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said Thursday.

The announcement comes just a day after senior U.S. intelligence leaders testified before the Senate Armed Service Committee to reinforce their certainty that Russia interfered with the recent U.S. presidential election with cyber-attacks, misinformation and fake news reports.

Both Republican and Democrats said they were interested in doing more to retaliate against Russia than President Obama's recent response, which sanctioned Russian intelligence services and their top officials, kicked out 35 Russian officials and shuttered two Russian-owned compounds in the U.S.

President-elect Donald Trump, who has dismissed the intelligence community's findings, was scheduled to receive a briefing on Russia's interference in the U.S. election process Friday from James Clapper Jr., director of National Intelligence, and other officials.

Clapper is scheduled to brief Congress next week on a comprehensive review of the Russian hacking operation. A version of the report will be released to the public.

Tanks, trucks and other equipment will flow into Bremerhaven, Germany, and then move by rail, commercial line haul and military convoy to Poland, according to a European Command press release.

The personnel and equipment will later be relocated throughout the region for training and exercises with European allies.

The arrival of the 3rd ABCT signals the beginning of the continuous presence of a heavy brigade and back-to-back rotations of U.S. troops and equipment in Europe.

The ABCT is just one aspect of the United States' pledge to demonstrate its commitment to Europe. Additionally, there's a rotational U.S. land, sea and air presence in the region, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, according to the release.

In November, the Defense Department completed the largest single shipment of ammunition for Army and Air Force units in Europe in more than two decades.

More than 600 shipping containers worth of ammo arrived at the port of Nordenham, Germany, as part of the continued effort to reassure NATO allies in Europe

The ammo build-up is intended to increase the readiness of U.S. forces stationed in Europe, according to Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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