Biden orders 3,000 reservists to be ready for Europe deployments
US President Joe Biden authorized the Pentagon on July 13 to send up to 3,000 reserve forces to Europe as Russia’s war in Ukraine continues.
The US has more than 100,000 service members in Europe, a number that has grown since Russia’s war with Ukraine began in February 2022, News.Az reports citing CNN.
Under the new authorization, the reservists would be part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, the ongoing rotational deployments that bolster NATO and its eastern flank. The newly signed executive order designates Operation Atlantic Resolve as a contingency operation, which gives reservists the same benefits as active-duty service members.
No US troops are directly involved in the war in Ukraine as Kyiv is not a member of the NATO alliance.
“This new designation benefits troops and families with increases in authorities, entitlements, and access to the Reserve component forces and personnel,” said Joint Staff Director of Operations Lt. Gen. Douglas Sims at a press briefing.
The move gives the Defense Department another option to send more capabilities to assist US European Command. But a defence official said it would likely take approximately six months to send these reservists to the theater because of the advance notice required.
The added troops would likely work in logistics and sustainment, or medical fields like dentistry and health care — roles that the reserves typically have more of than the active-duty force.
Since 2014, US forces have deployed to Europe under Atlantic Resolve to work with allies and partners in the region. Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder added that the new designation will enable the Defense Department to “provide better system support and sustain our forces.”
“(T)his includes things like increased contracting responsiveness, personnel-related entitlements that give activated reservists the same benefits as active component personnel,” he said. “It also, as a secretary-level operation, enhances our ability to track spending directly associated with this contingency.”
The executive order approving the mobilization of more forces gives officials the ability to call on troops “to come support Atlantic Resolve, and as I just highlighted, be entitled to the same kind of benefits as their active-duty counterparts.”