Russia Beware – the 101st Airborne Division is Ready: Even though the Russian bear is looking more like a paper tiger, it is well known that a savage beast can be most dangerous when it is cornered. Moscow may appear to be looking for an off-ramp in its ill-fated war in Ukraine, but NATO forces remain ever-diligent.
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Last month, NATO conducted its Exercise Black Scorpion where forces from several nations took part in drills that displayed power, tactics, and strategies at a forward operating site in Romania. Roughly 600 representatives from the allied nations showed up to a forward observation station to view the combined efforts of these NATO partners, the Army announced.
“Understanding each other’s tactics and the way we think and approach problems, only expands our capabilities with this kind of training,” explained U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Williams, commander of the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
Members of the famed 101st are among the U.S. forces that will be spending the Christmas holiday in Romania and will enforce the security of Europe’s eastern flank. Earlier this week, the Romanian Land Forces (RoLF) hosted a gift-giving event for those American servicemembers who won’t be home for the holidays this year. The gifts given to the U.S. personnel included several different traditional Romanian food items eaten around the holiday season, as well as letters written by Romanian children wishing them a happy holiday season.
Ready to Fight Russia
The deployment of the 101st Airborne Division to Romania should also serve as a deterrent to Moscow, while the proximity also allows the unit to gather intelligence and monitor the movements of Kremlin forces around the Black Sea.
“We are ready for whatever comes our way, and I’m very confident that we will accomplish any mission that’s given to us,” Major General Joseph P. “J.P.” McGee, 101st Airborne Division commander, said recently during an interview at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base headquarters in Romania, Stars & Stripes reported.
Following Russia’s unprovoked and unwarranted invasion of Ukraine in late February, Romania quickly emerged as the centerpiece of U.S. efforts to deter Russian aggression in Southern Europe, while Poland has become the U.S. Army’s “center of gravity” in the north.
“Our soldiers join the Army to do all sorts of things,” McGee added. “A bunch of them are eager. I’d say most of them are here to deploy. It’s not Iraq or Afghanistan, but they’re operating forward. They’re doing something meaningful.”
A Fighting Force
It could be suggested it is the DNA of the 101st Airborne Division to be ready to fight, even during the holiday season.
Units from the division were among the U.S. forces that took part in the Battle of the Bulge during the Second World War. The battle lasted six weeks and had come to an apex during the Siege of Bastogne, which began on December 20 and continued through the Christmas holiday. It was the largest and bloodiest single battle fought by the United States, with some 19,000 killed. It was also the third-deadliest campaign in American history.
Author Experience and Expertise: A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.