Fox News, by Jon Brown: The United States has heightened the readiness of some 8,500 U.S. troops amid tensions between Russia and NATO over a potential invasion of Ukraine, but no decisions have been made yet to deploy them.
“Secretary Austin has placed a range of units in the United States on a heightened preparedness to deploy, which increases our readiness to provide forces if NATO should activate” the NATO National Response Force, said Pentagon press secretary John Kirby on Monday.
The NATO NRF is a multinational rapid response force comprised of land, air, maritime and Special Operations Forces.
“The United States is deeply concerned about the current situation in Europe,” Kirby said. “We remain keenly focused on Russia’s unusual military activities near the Ukrainian border, including in Belarus, and consulting extensively with our transatlantic allies and partners. The department continues to support diplomatic efforts to deescalate the situation.
“Now, as the president has said, even as we continue to prioritize diplomacy and dialogue, we must also increase readiness in support of its obligations to the security and defense of NATO and the security of its citizens abroad,” he continued.
The Pentagon’s announcement comes the same day that NATO said that it will send fighter jets and ships to Eastern Europe.
Denmark is sending a frigate to the Baltic Sea and four F-16 fighter jets to Lithuania. Spain is also sending ships to join NATO naval forces in the region and is considering sending fighter jets to Bulgaria, the statement read. France said it is open to sending troops to Romania, and the Netherlands also said it will send two F-35 fighter aircraft to Bulgaria in April.
Last week, U.S. officials told Fox News that the State Department is ordering families of U.S. Embassy staff in Kyiv, Ukraine, to begin evacuating, and that they will encourage Americans to leave the country on commercial flights while they remain available.
Moscow has massed tens of thousands of troops along the Ukraine border, prompting fears of invasion.
“We are standing upon the threshold of great and solemn events. Prophecies are fulfilling. Strange, eventful history is being recorded in the books of heaven. Everything in our world is in agitation. There are wars and rumors of wars. The nations are angry, and the time of the dead has come, that they should be judged. Events are changing to bring about the day of God, which hasteth greatly. Only a moment of time, as it were, yet remains. But while already nation is rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, there is not now a general engagement. As yet the four winds are held until the servants of God shall be sealed in their foreheads. Then the powers of earth will marshal their forces for the last great battle.” Testimonies to the Church, Vol 6, page 14.1.