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US Army paratroopers from 173rd Airborne Brigade Battalion depart Italy, head for Latvia: report


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US Army paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Battalion began arriving in Latvia this week, departing Aviano Air Base in northern Italy as part of the US response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to a report.

Latvia is located along the Baltic Sea, with Russia to the east, Belarus to the south, and then Ukraine lying just below Belarus. The Latvian capital of Riva is about 665 miles northwest of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.

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Once in Latvia, after traveling 1,100 miles from Italy, American forces were to join the small brigade of the Latvian army, Stars and Stripes reported.

Hundreds of troops were expected to be in place by Thursday, army spokesman Major Cain Claxton said.

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Claxton called the mission “an opportunity to get out and work in another country on behalf of American security interests,” Stars and Stripes reported. He had no specific details about what US troops would do in Latvia, the report said.

The US brigade is “well prepared” to deploy wherever needed “at any time”, he added.

Other military movements

In other U.S. military movements, 20 AH-64 helicopters from Germany were heading east toward unspecified NATO locations, Pentagon officials said Wednesday, according to the report, while 12 of the same helicopters were heading from Greece to Poland.

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In addition, six Utah F-35 fighter jets that had been sent to Germany were deployed to air bases in Estonia, Lithuania and Romania on Thursday to assist NATO Air Policing operations along the alliance’s eastern borders, US Air Force officials in Europe said. and Stripes reported.


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