More troops from Georgia heading to Europe as war rages on in Ukraine

Pentagon sending additional U.S. soldiers from Fort Stewart to Germany, Poland and Romania

The Pentagon is sending 500 more troops to Europe in response to the war in Ukraine, and many of them are coming from Georgia.

Among the additional units deploying is a 40-person air and support operations center from Fort Stewart near Savannah. Those troops will deploy to Poland and Romania. Also, a support maintenance company from Fort Stewart is traveling to Germany to assist U.S. soldiers already there.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters Monday the additional troops heading to Europe are “purely defensive forces.”

“They are temporary moves,” Kirby said. “And we’re going to adjust our posture continuously as conditions require. And as President Biden has noted before, we are not and will not send forces into Ukraine.”

;

The president had already directed more than 7,000 U.S. service members to Europe in the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Among them are about 3,800 troops from the Fort Stewart-based 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team. Last month, an undisclosed number of Georgia National Guardsmen with the 165th Airlift Wing deployed to help with logistical support and military aid in Europe.

Since the war began, about 2 million refugees have fled Ukraine, mostly to Poland, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

“They are in need of protection and support,” the United Nations said. “As the situation continues to unfold, an estimated 4 million people may flee Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, the fighting has caused 1,123 civilian casualties in Ukraine, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. That number reflects 364 people killed, including 25 children, and 759 injured.

The airspace over Ukraine remains contested, according to the Pentagon, which added that Ukraine still has most of his fixed-wing aircraft available for combat missions.

More than 11,000 Russian troops have been killed since their invasion of Ukraine began, Reuters reported Sunday, citing information received from the Ukrainian armed forces’ general staff.