U.S. soldiers stand near the Ukrainian border near Arlamow, Poland, on February 24, 2022.

U.S. soldiers stand near the Ukrainian border near Arlamow, Poland, on February 24, 2022. Maciej Luczniewski/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Army Brief: More soldiers to Europe; Ready to help in Poland; Tank deal; and more...

Welcome to The Army Brief, a weekly look at the news and ideas shaping the service’s future. 

More deployments. About 7,000 U.S. troops will deploy to Europe in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, mostly from the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team and the 3rd Infantry Division, President Biden said Thursday. U.S. officials have repeatedly said that no U.S. troops will enter Ukraine to fight. Defense One reports

At the ready. U.S. paratroopers are setting up facilities in Poland to help Americans fleeing Ukraine, and soldiers from the 82nd Airborne are ready to offer evacuation assistance. The State Department established a 24-hour “welcome center” for Americans in a Polish hotel, and has teams on the borders of Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Moldova as well. Read, here

Built for it. An American spy plane that has spent 30 years flying missions from Desert Storm to Afghanistan is finally doing the job it was designed to do: tracking Russian forces as the invade eastern Europe, Defense One reports. The E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, or JSTARS, was created as a joint Army-Air Force program to give Army commanders real-time intel on what was happening on the ground. 

Tanks for Poland. In a $6 billion sale, the U.S. will send Warsaw 250 M1A2 tanks, 250 counter-IED systems, 26 M88 combat recovery vehicles, 17 joint assault bridges, 276 M2 .50-caliber machine guns, and thousands of rounds of explosive tracers, Defense One reports. The tanks are “the most modern version of the Abrams and will provide Poland with a highly advanced…capability that will also strengthen our interoperability with the Polish armed forces,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said when announcing the deal in Warsaw. 

Sign up to get The Army Brief every Friday morning from Caitlin M. Kenney, Defense One’s military services reporter. On this day in 1991, Iraq said it would pull its troops out of Kuwait after 40 days of the Gulf War.

From Defense One

The Battle for Ukraine: What We Know So Far // Caitlin M. Kenney and Kevin Baron

Ukrainians fought back as Russian armor pushed toward cities, U.S. says. And more Americans are deploying to NATO's eastern front.

U.S. Troops In Poland Preparing to Support Americans Leaving Ukraine // Caitlin M. Kenney

The State Department has the lead, but soldiers are building facilities and standing ready to give other assistance.

700 Guardsmen Set to Help If Truckers Block DC Roads // Caitlin M. Kenney

One convoy organizer said they plan to shut down the Capital Beltway.

​​Above Ukraine, a Cold War Spy Plane Is Finally Tracking a Russian Invasion // Marcus Weisgerber

Air Force officials had already started retiring 30-year-old E-8C JSTARS.

Poland to Buy $6 Billion in US Tanks, Assault Bridges, Explosives; Russian Advancing Force Grows to 190,000 // Tara Copp

In Warsaw, Austin warns 'thousands' of Ukrainians could flee into Poland, 'trying to save themselves and their families from the scourge of war."