Fort Hood soldiers deploy to Europe to reinforce NATO allies

The soldiers are with the 96th Heavy Transportation Company (HET), which falls under the 49th...
The soldiers are with the 96th Heavy Transportation Company (HET), which falls under the 49th Movement Control Battalion, 13 Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC), III Armored Corps at Fort Hood, Texas.(Eric Franklin for KWTX)
Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 5:56 PM CST
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FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) - Nearly 160 U.S. Army soldiers stationed at Fort Hood on Monday deployed to Europe to support NATO allies as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine intensified.

The soldiers are with the 96th Heavy Transportation Company (HET), which falls under the 49th Movement Control Battalion, 13 Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC), III Armored Corps at Fort Hood, Texas.

The move is part of the deployment of 7,000 U.S. military personnel earmarked to support the NATO Response Force.

“These forces will augment U.S. forces in the European theater, and are trained and equipped for various missions to reinforce the U.S. European Command posture on NATO’s eastern flank,” Fort Hood said in a statement.

Colonel Matthew Ruedi, the 13th ESC deputy commanding officer, said the soldiers are “trained and ready” and are deploying to “reassure NATO allies” and “deter Russian Aggression” in the region.

Ruedi said the unit made sure the soldier’s families were kept in the loop during the process. “It’s not just our Soldiers that we ensure are ready for this mission, but we do everything we can to make sure Families are ready, too,” said Ruedi, “Things can change rapidly in situations like this. Making sure we communicate with our Families not only helps manage expectations, but it also contributes to our overall readiness.”

News of the deployment of Fort Hood soldiers comes as the Biden Administration considers how to fulfill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request for warplanes. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Monday said getting military materiel for Ukrainians to fight a Russian invasion is set to become more difficult for the U.S. and its allies.

“I think that the international community has been tremendously responsive and have found ways to get the materiel in. That may become harder in the coming days, and we’ll have to find other ways to manage this,” Sherman said.

The Associated Press reported Monday that Russian troops were making significant advances in southern Ukraine. The humanitarian crisis deepened as Russian forces intensified their shelling and food, water, heat and medicine grew increasingly scarce.

According to the AP, the United Nations human rights office reported 406 confirmed civilian deaths but said the real number is much higher. The invasion has also sent 1.7 million people fleeing Ukraine, the AP reported.

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