US troops continued to deploy to Europe on Friday, joining thousands already sent abroad to support NATO allies amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Some 130 Soldiers from the 87th Division Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade, lined up with backpacks. They are inside a terminal at Hunter Airfield in Savannah before marching outside and boarding their charter flight. They set off amid gray skies and rain.
Republican US Rep. Earl ‘Buddy’ Carter of Pooler, Georgia, was in attendance. He saw ‘bumping fists’ with many soldiers as they boarded the plane.
Lt. Col. Lindsey Elder, a division spokeswoman, said that The battalion Soldiers joined the approximately 3,800 Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division of the Army. The latter have deployed from nearby Fort Stewart in recent weeks.
Danton Belucio, who has served for three years in the Army, said he was looking forward to participating in his first deployment.
He said that he always wanted to get on one to do something different. It makes him feel like he is helping someone.
The Third Infantry Division commander, Maj Gen. Charles Costanza, recently said that soldiers sent a message preparing for six months abroad. However, deployments could be lengthened or shortened depending on developments in Ukraine.
The Pentagon ordered roughly 12,000 total service members from various US bases to Europe, with a couple thousand more already stationed overseas relocating to other European countries.
The soldiers’ mission is to train alongside NATO allied military units in a show of force designed to deter further aggression by Russia. The Pentagon has emphasizing not to deploy US troops abroad to invasion in Ukraine.
Belucio, 24, of Orlando, Florida, said he was not concerned about participating in the mission.