About 450 soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation, 1st Cavalry Division, will deploy to Germany in November, the Army announced Thursday.
The soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, will deploy for nine months as part of a regular rotation of forces to support, in part, Operation Atlantic Resolve and U.S. Army Europe.
"Providing trained and ready forces in support of U.S. Army Europe and NATO shows our commitment to improve interoperability and strengthen relationships," said Maj. Gen. Michael Bills, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, in a statement.
UH-60 Black Hawk crews with 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division prepare their aircraft for takeoff after refueling in Phoenix, Arizona, May 11.
Photo Credit: Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf Operation Atlantic ResolveThe operation, which consists of a series of exercises and training events, began in the three Baltic States and Poland but has since expanded to Romania, Bulgaria and elsewhere.
Simultaneously, the Army has increased its rotational forces in Europe and is considering dedicating an entire division to exercises, training and assurance missions in the region.
The 4th Infantry Division headquarters, from Fort Carson, Colorado, already is aligned with U.S. European Command. A headquarters element, led by one of the division's deputy commanding generals, is deployed to Europe, tasked with coordinating the various exercises and training missions across the region.
As the Army draws down its forward-stationed force in Europe – most recently from about 40,000 to 30,000 – it is relying more and more on rotational, regionally-aligned forces.
In addition to the 4th Infantry Division headquarters, the Army also has sent the 1st Brigade Combat Team and an aviation battalion from the 3rd Infantry Division to Europe.
The deployment of the 1st Cavalry soldiers later this year will match what U.S. Army leaders earlier this year predicted would be a surge in aviation capability to match an increase in exercise needs. The soldiers from 3rd Battalion just completed training at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California, in May.
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.