The Pentagon has transferred 200 US Marines from Norway to Lithuania in response to the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Tuesday.
The Cherry Hill, NC-based Marine Air Control Group 28 had been part of exercise Cold Response in Norway. They have joined more than 10,000 US troops already mobilized in Eastern Europe and Germany since February.
Additionally, 10 F-18 Hornets from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, and two Marine Corps C-130s will be transferred to an unspecified Eastern European nation, Kirby added. The aircraft will be accompanied by 200 pilots, crew members, and maintenance personnel.
Growlers for Germany
This comes a day after the press secretary announced that six US Navy EA-18G Growler radar-jamming aircraft are being transferred to Germany. The aircraft will be accompanied by 240 personnel.
The aircraft are “not being deployed to be used against Russian forces in Ukraine” Kirby said Monday.
“They are being deployed completely in keeping with our efforts to bolster NATO’s deterrence and defense capabilities along that eastern flank.”
14,000 Troops Committed
The Pentagon earlier committed 7,000 soldiers to individual countries and later pledged another 7,000 troops as part of the NATO-led Response Force.
According to Marine Corps Times, not every soldier committed to NATO has been deployed though “thousands more US troops have been put on shortened prepare-to-deploy orders.”
“It’s not like, you know, the 14,000 is a goal here. The Secretary wanted as many options available to him and to the President,” Kirby said.
“And so, you know, we put some on ‘prepare to deploy’ and we sent some forward. It is about options, it’s not about a number goal. It’s about capabilities and making sure that we’ve got the right capabilities.”