Nearly 3,000 more U.S. troops and weapons heading to Saudi Arabia & they’re paying for it
The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.
The Department of Defense announced Friday that more troops and equipment will be going to Saudi Arabia.
Fort Bragg officials did not know if any troops from the post would be involved in the latest deployment, but some soldiers already were scheduled to go to Saudi Arabia.
Jonathan Hoffman, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement that two fighter squadrons, an air expeditionary wing, two Patriot batteries and a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system would be deployed.
Fort Bragg officials said last month that troops from the post would be among forces being sent to Saudi Arabia. The Pentagon said then that a battery of Patriot missiles, four Sentinel radar systems and about 200 support troops will go to the country. The Fort Bragg soldiers were going to be involved in the support mission, post officials said.
Hoffman said that overall, deployment of an additional 3,000 troops have been extended or authorized within the past month. Since May, the number of troops in the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility has increased by about 14,000, he said.
That area includes the Middle East, Northeast Africa and Central and South Asia. The increased forces are “an investment into regional security,” Hoffman said.
The announcement last month came about two weeks after Saudi oil facilities were attacked by cruise missiles and drones. U.S. officials blamed that attack on Iran. Houthi rebels in Yemen took credit for it.
Hoffman said then that U.S. troops were going to augment Saudi Arabia’s air and missile defense.
“As we have stated, the United States does not seek conflict with the Iranian regime, but we will retain a robust military capability in the region that is ready to respond to any crisis and will defend U.S. forces and interest in the region,” he said in the statement released Friday.
Staff writer Steve DeVane can be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3572.
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