USA’s Army is to send more than 1,400 soldiers to the Russian Arctic in a training exercise, with the aim of boosting its training capabilities in a region where Moscow has been increasingly aggressive in asserting its interests.US Army Chief of Staff Gen Mark Milley said on Friday that his troops would participate in the two-week expedition, which is scheduled to last three weeks and involve some 3,000 troops.
“We will not only be sending our troops to a new world but also to a brand new frontier,” Milley told reporters at Fort Benning, Georgia.
“We’ve got to be able to get up to speed in a short amount of time.”
In February, US forces were sent to the region to conduct an exercise that involved a series of small-scale military drills and a simulated war in a remote region.
The US Army has struggled to train and support its forces in the Arctic for decades due to an array of reasons including low morale, the presence of indigenous tribes, and a lack of resources.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has said the exercise is intended to show US troops that they can be “a part of the solution to the Arctic security challenge”.
“I would say that this exercise is about making sure we can go to the most challenging places in the world, that we can work together and get ready for this challenge,” Putin said during a speech in January.
The United States military is also working to beef up its presence in Europe and Asia in the wake of a series a series international conflicts.