Military Hardware Arrives from U.S. for Exercises
ANTWERP, Belgium (AP) _ U.S. soldiers on Tuesday began removing about 1,000 pieces of military hardware sent by ship from the United States for use in upcoming exercises in West Germany.
U.S. Gen. John Galvin, the top military commander in Europe for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, reiterated that the allies still needed to maintain a strong defense despite easing East-West tensions.
″What’s happening in Eastern Europe is as of now still not entirely predictable,″ he said.
″As long as we have this kind of uncertainty ... it will be very difficult to say exactly what will we see a year from now or five years from now,″ Galvin said. ″In the meantime, I’m going to do my best to make sure we keep our powder dry.″
The trucks, trailers and other heavy equipment that were loaded in Savannah, Ga., arrived on the Navy cargo ship Altair on Monday night at the Belgian port of Antwerp, about 30 miles north of Brussels.
Two more naval ships, the Pollux and the Antares, will arrive soon with more hardware.
The shipment of the equipment is part of the ″Reforger″ - Return of forces to Germany - exercise. The maneuver, the 21st of its kind, tests the United States’ ability to send troops and supplies to Europe in the event of war, and Europe’s ability to receive the reinforcements.
Nearly 15,000 military personnel will fly from the United States to link up with the equipment and take part in Centurion Shield, a field-training exercise. In all, 57,500 U.S. and European soldiers will participate. About 12,000 support personnel also will be involved.
Reforger had been scheduled to take place in September but was postponed until now and scaled down in size. About 17,000 soldiers traveled from the United States to take part in the 1988 version, with about 125,000 U.S. and European soldiers in the field.
War games have become increasingly unpopular with the European public because of their financial costs, noise and damage to farmland.