III Armored Corps units at Fort Hood told to be ready to deploy as tension escalates in Eastern Europe
FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX & AP) - Elements from III Armored Corps - including units assigned to Fort Carson, Colorado and Fort Hood, Texas - are currently in a “heightened state of readiness,” according to commanding general, Lt. Gen. Pat White.
“We have not received deployment orders, but remain ready to deploy if notified,” White said.
The general did not specify the reason for the heightened state of alert, but it comes as tension between Russian and Ukraine continues to mount. The conflict escalated in recent weeks as the United States and its NATO allies expressed concern about the buildup of 100,000 Russian troops near Ukraine.
The West has signaled that Moscow is planning to invade its ex-Soviet neighbor, but Russia denies having any such designs and has laid out a series of demands.
According to the Associated Press, the U.S. and the Western alliance firmly rejected any concessions on Moscow’s demands, refusing to permanently ban Ukraine from joining NATO and saying allied deployments of troops and military equipment in Eastern Europe are nonnegotiable.
White on Thursday said the Secretary of Defense has “directed forces at home and abroad to be on high alert and prepare to deploy in a shortened timeframe.”
According to the commanding general, in some cases, designated units and personnel would have five days after notification to “be ready to load equipment or board military transport for movement into theater.”
“III Armored Corps maintains the highest level of readiness and the capability to deploy forces anywhere in the world on short notice. Our Soldiers and families will be notified by their chains of command if official notification of deployment orders are received,” White said.
“While we as Soldiers are constantly preparing to defend our national interests, our families share in the burden of this service. To our III Armored Corps family members, I ask for your continued understanding and support while we continue to receive information and posture for potential operations. We are committed to keeping everyone informed as information becomes available.”
All eyes are now on President Vladimir Putin, who will decide how Russia will respond amid fears that Europe could again be plunged into war.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters earlier that the response from the U.S. — and a similar one from NATO — left “little ground for optimism.”
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