U.S. Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, announced Wednesday the U.S. will reposition approximately 11,900 military personnel from Germany, which will reduce the number of U.S. troops in the country from around 36,000 to 24,000. Of the 11,900, nearly 5,600 Service members will be repositioned within NATO countries, and approximately 6,400 will return to the United States, though many of these or similar units will begin conducting rotational deployment back to Europe”, Esper said of the current EUCOM plan.
Esper’s announcement comes amid calls from President Donald Trump to reduce the number of troops in Germany. The Secretary of Defense emphasized that U.S. forces in Europe are making the troop shifts in a way that meets five strategic goals he set out: enhancing deterrence of Russia, strengthening NATO, keeping allies reassured of a U.S. presence in Europe, improving U.S. strategic flexibility, caring for service members and their families in the process.
Esper also confirmed some troops will be sent to Poland, in line with a troop movement suggested by Trump last month during a press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda.