Editor’s note: This story was updated at 4:15 p.m. on March 4 with comment from a U.S. Army Europe official who confirmed that the additional V Corps personnel are not replacing the ongoing XVIII Corps mission.
About 300 soldiers from the recently reestablished V Corps’ main headquarters are slated to deploy to Germany and Poland to provide command and control of U.S. soldiers in Europe, “reinforce allied forces and deter further Russian aggression,” a unit press release stated Thursday.
Soldiers deploying from V Corps out of Fort Knox, Kentucky, will be working in direct coordination with the German and Polish governments.
The additional V Corps personnel are not a replacement for XVIII Corps, which was sent to Germany in February to manage forward-deployed paratroopers in Europe, said U.S. Army Europe spokesman Thomas Hamilton.
“The deployment of two troops to Bulgaria and Hungary, the execution of the Saber Strike exercise along with the ongoing crisis required a more robust forward presence from V Corps,” Hamilton said in an emailed statement. “In light of these priorities, this deployment of the V Corps Main Headquarters provides the needed level of command and control.”
A forward-based V Corps contingent has already been serving as the command and control headquarters for other Army units in Europe prior to the Ukraine crisis, including soldiers from 2nd Cavalry Regiment and 4th Security Forces Assistance Brigade, among others.
“Victory Corps is ready and prepared to support the orders of the President, and demonstrate our commitment to our NATO Allies. As America’s Forward Deployed Corps, we were built for this mission,” Lt. Gen. John S. Kolasheski, V Corps commanding general, said in the press release.
“Throughout our unit’s history, we have stood as guardians of peace in Europe and we once again proudly answer the nation’s call,” Kolasheski added.
V Corps troops will complement their forward headquarters unit based in Poznan, Poland, “enabling the Corps to synchronize current contingency operations, support the ongoing mission to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank and coordinate multinational exercises across the continent.”
V Corps was first activated during World War I and remained operational until 2013, when it was deactivated in Wiesbaden, Germany. At the time, the Army called the deactivation “a major milestone in U.S. Army Europe’s transformation to a more agile force built around a cavalry brigade equipped with highly mobile Stryker combat vehicles and an airborne infantry brigade,” according to an archived news release.
But the unit was recently reestablished in 2020, as the Army looked away from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and toward great power conflict. The unit was only declared fully operational on Nov. 3.
“One year ago, our Army recognized the need for a new Corps headquarters, one of the highest levels of operational command, in order to focus on the European theater’s military threats and opportunities, alongside our partners and allies,” U.S. Army Forces Command boss Gen. Michael X. Garrett said about the re-activation of the V Corps in November.
“Re-activating V Corps was the smart decision, because now our Army has the right talent and the right resources aligned against a mission that has only become more important in the past year.”
Rachel is a Marine Corps veteran and a master's candidate at New York University's Business & Economic Reporting program.