New NATO Commitments to Eastern Europe

NATO allies this week committed to new large-scale deployments to Eastern Europe to counter Russian threats, including United Kingdom fighter jets and US combat brigades. During a ministerial meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said four multinational battalions will deploy to the east edge of the alliance in early 2017, to be led by the US, Canada, Germany, and the UK. The deployments show a “transatlantic demonstration of rock-solid support for our allies,” Stoltenberg said Thursday. The announcement came a day after the UK committed to sending RAF Typhoons to Mihail Kogalniceanu AB, Romania, for up to four months next year to support the NATO Southern Air Policing mission. “Backed by a rising defense budget, this deployment of air, land,? and sea forces shows that we will continue to play a leading role in NATO, supporting the defense and security of our allies from the north to the south of the alliance,” Fallon said, according to a Ministry of Defense release. US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, during a Wednesday press conference at the meeting in Brussels, highlighted the $3.4 billion fund for the European Reassurance Initiative, which includes the US armored brigade deployment in February. (See also: NATO’s New Reality from the October issue of Air Force Magazine)