For the first time since World War II, American military forces have sent one of its most elite battalions of airborne division soldiers to Europe, according to CBS News
This preparation is due to their need to be ready to fight with Ukrainian forces in the conflict with Russia, should the conflict escalate into NATO.
According to CBS News, the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army has sent about 4,700 soldiers from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to Romania, where they are standing by to bolster NATO's eastern flank at a moment's notice.
This unit is trained to deploy anywhere in the world and engage in combat within hours.
The 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army has been sent to Europe for the first time in almost 80 years amid rising hostilities between Russia and the NATO military alliance, which is commanded by the United States. The "Screaming Eagles" light infantry force is trained to arrive on any battlefield in the world within hours and be prepared to engage in combat.
In a Black Hawk helicopter, CBS News traveled with Brigadier General John Lubas, the division's deputy commander, and Colonel Edwin Matthaidess, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, for the hour-long trip to the very edge of NATO territory, which is only about three miles from Romania's border with Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, began his full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Since then, his forces have moved north from the Crimean Peninsula, an area of Ukraine that Moscow illegitimately annexed in 2014.
Russian forces have been attempting to advance into the Kherson region along the Black Sea coast for more than seven months in an effort to seize the important Ukrainian port cities of Mykolaiv and Odesa.
They want to deny Ukraine all sea access, leaving the nation and its armed forces completely stranded on land.
One of the most elite air assault units from the United States has been dispatched with some heavy machinery in response to this threat, which is so near to NATO territory in Romania.
"We're ready to defend every inch of NATO soil," Lubas told CBS News. "We bring a unique capability, from our air assault capability… We're a light infantry force, but again, we bring that mobility with us, for our aircraft and air assaults."
Matthaidess told the network that he and his troops were the closest American forces to the conflict currently raging in Ukraine and that they've been "closely watching" the Russian forces, "building objectives to practice against," and conducting drills that "replicate exactly what's going on" in the war, saying that "It keeps us on our toes."