For the first time in 80 years, the US Army deploys the ‘Screaming Eagles’ 101st Airborne Division within miles from Ukraine.
An elite unit of the US Army is training for a future conflict with Russia, just a few kilometers from Ukraine, at a time when Russia’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, made the unusual decision to have phone discussions with his US counterpart, Lloyd Austin, on October 21 to discuss the fight.
The US Army’s 101st Airborne Division has been dispatched to Europe for the first time in over 80 years, amid escalating hostility between Russia and the NATO military alliance, which the US leads.
According to CBS News, the “Screaming Eagles” light infantry troop is trained to arrive on any battlefield within hours and participate in combat.
The 101st Airborne Division is a United States Army modular infantry division that specializes in air assault tasks.
It rose to prominence during WWII for its role in the Battle of the Bulge and the Normandy landings. During the Vietnam War, the 101st Airborne Division was reclassified twice, first as an airmobile division and subsequently as an air assault division.
The division’s deputy commander, Brigadier General John Lubas, and Colonel Edwin Matthaidess, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, flew in a Black Hawk military helicopter for the hour-long journey to the very edge of NATO territory, which is only about three miles from Romania’s border with Ukraine.
The development is noteworthy since it occurs against the backdrop of Ukrainian soldiers marching into seized Kherson area. Simultaneously, the Russians are thought to have fortified the territory to prevent Kyiv from retaking it.
Furthermore, both parties have been exchanging barbs for attempting to demolish the Nova Kakhokva dam and flood Ukraine.
he 101st Airborne Division Headquarters and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team uncased their flags and staged an air assault demonstration in Romania on June 30.
The event was thought to signal the start of the division’s advance deployment in Europe, with the goal of strengthening NATO’s eastern flank and reassuring partners throughout the continent.
“After 80 years, the 101st Airborne Division, known as Screaming Eagles, returns to Europe,” the US mission stated to NATO in August 2022. Nearly 2,400 troops will be sent to Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Slovakia to secure NATO’s eastern flank, reassure allies, and deter threats.”
However, the proximity of military drills to Ukraine during the conflict is noteworthy. “We’re prepared to defend every square inch of NATO territory,” Brigadier Lubas told CBS News. “With our air attack capacity, we provide a unique capability… “We’re a light infantry unit, but we carry that mobility with us for our air and ground attacks,” he explained.
Russia has launched an unprecedented aircraft assault on Ukraine, targeting civilian areas, energy infrastructure, and creating massive power outages.
Russian soldiers are determined to seize Mykolaiv and Odesa, two vital Ukrainian port cities, and shut off Kyiv’s access to the Black Sea.
To ‘fight’ Russia’s threat to take these port cities by exploiting its advantage over Kherson, the most elite air assault forces from the United States have been despatched, along with some heavy gear.
The NATO country of Romania, where the 101st airborne division is stationed, is near to Kherson and the port cities that Kyiv defends.
The 101st Unit’s Drill Overlooking Ukraine and American Preparedness
Following skirmishing north along Romania’s Black Sea coast, American and Romanian forces assaulted targets during a joint ground and air assault exercise. Tank rounds and artillery fire were accurate.
The training was supposed to imitate the regular clashes between Russian and Ukrainian forces across the border. The war simulations performed so close to the border were intended to send a strong message to Russia and America’s NATO partners, implying that the US Army was present just across the border and keeping a close eye on things.
The 101st Airborne Division’s home base, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, has dispatched 4,700 soldiers to buttress NATO’s eastern flank. The leaders of the “Screaming Eagles” have frequently declared that, while they are in the region to defend NATO territory, they are fully prepared to cross the border into Ukraine if the fighting worsens or a NATO nation is attacked.
However, while the 101st Airborne Division is ready to strike in the case of an attack, Russia’s ally Belarus has been openly and covertly assisting Russian soldiers in the ongoing conflict. Three MiG-31 fighter jets capable of unleashing hypersonic missiles were sighted flying above Belarus’ capital.
Ukrainian military sources have warned that Russia may use Belarus to create a northern front in Ukraine’s conflict.
Up to 9000 Russian soldiers, nearly 170 tanks, 200 armored personnel carriers, artillery, and aircraft are currently arriving in Belarus as part of a “joint force” that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko agreed to deploy in the country bordering Ukraine to the north.
While some observers have noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric appears to be moderating, the threat from Moscow is far from gone for Kyiv