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The Pentagon has revealed the U.S. bases where 8,500 troops have been placed on heightened alert, with the possibility of deployment overseas as part of the NATO Response Force.
Watch Kirby’s remarks in the player above.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby reiterated to reporters that no deployment orders have been issued, but the alert that was issued days ago comes amid increased tensions over Russia’s troop buildup along the Ukrainian border.
Kirby said the units include elements of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, as well as elements of units at Fort Carson, Colorado, and Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
He also said that elements of units that are have placed on heightened alert include troops at installations in Texas, Louisiana, Arizona, Washington, Georgia, Ohio and several other states.
“These units, all told, include medical support, aviation support, logistics support and, of course, combat formations,” he said.
KIrby also commented on an order by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to his staff to quickly develop an “action plan” for improving how the Pentagon limits and responds to civilian casualties caused by American airstrikes.
“The protection of civilians remains vital to the ultimate success of our operations, and as the secretary has noted on more than one occasion, it is a strategic and a moral imperative,” Kirby said.
Austin said in a memo to senior civilian and military officials that he wants the plan to reach his office within 90 days.
He said it should outline steps the Pentagon will take, and the resources it will require, to implement recommendations from previous studies of the problem.
Austin acted following a wave of criticism of the Pentagon for an airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 29, 2021, that it initially termed a valid attack, despite 10 civilian deaths, but later acknowledged was a mistake in which the targeted individual turned out to not to be a militant, as first claimed by U.S. Central Command and Pentagon officials.
Austin also ordered the establishment of a “civilian protection center of excellence” to institutionalize improvements in this area.
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