US sends 5,000 tons of ammunition to Germany
The Local · 22 Feb 2016, 08:39
Published: 22 Feb 2016 08:39 GMT+01:00
- German minister blasts Jeb Bush's America (17 Feb 16)
- Merkel calls for no-fly zone as Russian jets hassle Luftwaffe (16 Feb 16)
- Berlin extends border checks as Nato launches sea patrol (11 Feb 16)
"This critical shipment will help us continue to enable the Nato alliance," Colonel Matthew Redding told US military newspaper Stars and Stripes on Sunday.
"The fact that it's the biggest single shipment in 10 years demonstrates our continued commitment to the defence of our allies," Redding added.
According to the paper, it took 415 shipping containers to move the ammunition across the Atlantic.
It will be stored at a depot in Miesau, Rhineland-Palatinate, the US Army's largest munitions store outside the USA.
Stepping up presence
According to the US Department of Defence, there are currently 36,691 soldiers from all branches of the US military currently in Germany, including 22,000 soldiers, 500 sailors, 1,000 marines and 13,100 from the Air Force.
Recent moves in response to Russia's sending troops into Ukraine have seen the US reverse some of its gradual reduction in numbers in Europe, especially Germany where it has had large bases since the end of the Second World War.
Early last year, the Air Force returned 12 A-10 'tankbuster' aircraft to Germany.
Designed to attack large formations of Soviet tanks during the Cold War, the heavily-armoured planes are armed with a 30mm rotary cannon and can carry a variety of bombs and missiles.
And Nato has been engaged in a stepped-up training schedule all over eastern Europe since early 2014 in a bid to show Russia the alliance won't put up with further westward aggression.
Exercises have been going on throughout eastern Europe and the Baltic nations, which are particularly fearful of Moscow.