By JOSEPH WENZEL, MARISSA SULEK, ALEXANDRIA ADAMS
FORT CAMPBELL, Kentucky (WSMV) — Fort Campbell soldiers are on their way to Europe.
It was announced on Tuesday that some of the 101st Airborne Division would be a part of the Joint Task Force Dragon Operation. The focus of the deployment is “to assure our NATO Allies and partners in the region.”
Fort Campbell officials told News 4 the preparations for this deployment have been going on for several weeks.
“As we have since 1942, the 101st Airborne Division stands ready to deploy anywhere to support and defend the Nation and our Allies,” Commanding General of the 101st Abn. Div. Maj. Gen. JP McGee.
The units from Fort Campbell will join the members of 18th Airborne Corps, who are already in Europe. It comes amid tensions at the border between Russia and Ukraine. The troops are heading to Poland. There are no threats of Russian invasion there.
But it is one of four NATO allies that borders Ukraine. WSMV spoke with some of the soldiers just hours ago about how they felt as they head on this mission.
“I’m excited and nervous. Cause one this is my first deployment. I don’t know what to expect. I’m kind of excited because I get to see the world for the first time because I’ve never been outside the U.S. It’s an exciting new experience at the same time it’s also nerve-racking and scary,” Mark Berg Jr., Kentucky native, said. “Hoping maybe I can still maybe have contact with my family but if not that’s fine because a mission’s a mission and I joined for a reason.”
The 101st Airborne Division is set “to deploy worldwide on short notice to conduct a range of military operations from humanitarian assistance to combat capabilities.”
“Fort Campbell units are always prepared to deploy world-wide on short notice to conduct contingency operations in support of our national security objectives. Preparations for this deployment have been underway for several weeks and our Soldiers are ready. They will provide valuable support for our higher headquarters and reassure our Polish Allies at this critical moment,” Lt. Col. Kari Mcewen, 101st Abn. Div. public affairs officer.
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