US Army Returns Tanks to Europe as NATO Eyes Assertive Russia | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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US Army Returns Tanks to Europe as NATO Eyes Assertive Russia

Russia recently conducted unannounced military exercises along the borders of the Baltic states

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    AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis
    In this May 14, 2014, photo, members of the U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade practice during a military exercise 'Black Arrow 2014' at the Rukla military base some 75 miles west of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania.

    The U.S. and its NATO allies are taking no chances amid a build-up of military force on Europe's eastern frontier with Russia.

    Three years after the last American tank left Europe, they are being brought back "as part of our commitment to deterrence," Gen. Frederick "Ben" Hodges told NBC News.

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    Hodges, who is commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, welcomed a batch of tracked and wheeled support vehicles to a depot in the Netherlands on Thursday.

    Amid the new threat from the East, with Russia's recent unannounced military exercises along the borders of the Baltic states and the 2014 annexation of Crimea, U.S. and NATO officials have been preparing for an increased presence across Europe, especially at NATO's eastern borders, "sending a clear message to Russia," officials say.