WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US government’s increase of European Reassurance Initiative funds in fiscal year 2017 to develop airfields in Eastern Europe will enable NATO to strengthen its presence there, US Air Force Europe Commander Gen. Frank Gorenc said on Tuesday.
"This will allow us to do another aspect that I am keen on and that is continuing to develop the airfields, particularly on the Eastern side of NATO — the Baltic Republics, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria," the US Department of Defense quoted Gorenc as saying.
Gorenc noted that the airfields will allow "accomplish high-volume, high-velocity operations."
American troops will bring additional, modern equipment to replace current stocks and use in future military exercises with Operation Atlantic Resolve countries, according to the Defense Department.
In February, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter unveiled the Defense Department budget, which includes the new NATO Reassurance Initiative funds to support the deployment of between 3,000 and 5,000 troops and the forward placement of military equipment to NATO’s eastern flank.