A Polish military spokesperson announced that the first American troops landed near the Poland-Ukraine border on Saturday amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Reuters reported.
“As announced, the first elements of the brigade battle group from the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army have arrived in Poland,” the Polish military spokesman said, according to the news outlet.
The troops landed in the Rzeszow-Jasionka airport on Saturday morning, with a Polish military source saying that they were U.S. chain of command personnel, according to the newswire.
Separately on Friday, American troops also began arriving in Germany, Reuters reported.
The news of the American troop arrivals come as Pentagon press secretary John KirbyJohn KirbyPhotos of the Week: Joe Biden, Punxsutawney Phil and Sarah Palin Overnight Defense & National Security — Inside the US raid that killed an ISIS leader Lawmakers emerge from Russia-Ukraine briefings bracing for invasion MORE announced on Wednesday that roughly 2,000 troops would be deployed to Poland and Germany from Fort Bragg, N.C., in the coming days while another 1,000 troops would be repositioned from Germany to Romania.
The deployment and repositioning of troops is to bolster the capabilities of the NATO military alliance in the area.
However, Kirby stressed the troops would not be fighting in Ukraine, adding “They are going to ensure the robust defense of our NATO allies.”
The development comes amid simmering tensions between Russia and Ukraine as the former has amassed more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border. The international community remains concerned that Russia is readying itself to attack the former Soviet Union nation, though Russia has denied those allegations.
Following classified briefings on Thursday, lawmakers braced for the growing possibility of an invasion into Ukraine, with Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioLawmakers introduce bill to rename Taiwan office in Washington French president, German chancellor to visit Russia, Ukraine as tensions rise Lawmakers emerge from Russia-Ukraine briefings bracing for invasion MORE (R-Fla.) calling it a “near certainty.”
“This is the most significant threat in Europe since 1945. It’s just that simple,” Rubio said to reporters.
The Hill has reached out to Fort Bragg and the U.S. European Command for comment.