Soldiers preparing for European deployment

FORT STEWART (WTOC) - Thousands of Fort Stewart troops have left, or will soon, for yet another deployment, but this mission won't be in the Middle East.

They'll train in several European countries along with European troops.

Third Infantry's First Brigade troops might call this stretch of Eastern Europe their home away from home as they begin arriving this month for their second deployment there this year.

"We've known for some time and we've been prepared. Some of the equipment that we took over actually stayed there," said Col. Phil Brooks, 1st Brigade Commander.

They'll train for three months alongside troops of the Fourth Infantry and soldiers from other NATO countries.

"The Army is the premiere land force that can be everywhere and provide that stability and the Raider Brigade is no exception. We're there to provide stability in Eastern Europe," said Col. Brooks.

Pentagon leaders have said even though the Soviet Union is gone, Russia and others remain a threat to European peace. The Raider Brigade will be part of exercises stretching from Spain all the way to the Baltic, including Hungary, Bulgaria, Rumania and others. And they'll be using their full range of muscle and horsepower including tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles.

"Our NATO allies, and our commitment to them, continues to be of the upmost importance as we partner with those 28 countries," said Col. Brooks.

Col. Brooks said the training and the show of force will hopefully deter any non-NATO countries from even considering any aggression in the region.

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