Army announces activation of V Corps to push back against Russia in Europe

U.S. Soldiers, assigned to the Bravo Troop, Regimental Engineer Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, apply snow chains to a Medium Mine Protected Vehicle at the 7th Army Training Command's Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Jan. 29, 2020. (U.S. Army/Spc. Javan Johnson)

The Army announced on Tuesday the activation of V Corps (or Fifth Corps), the latest development in the U.S. military's push to build up capabilities in Europe in the face of great power competition with Russia.

V Corps will be based out of Fort Knox, Kentucky, per Tuesday's Army press release. It will be made up of 635 soldiers, 200 of which "will support an operational command post in Europe on a rotational basis."

It's expected to be operational by this fall.

"The activation of an additional Corps headquarters provides the needed level of command and control focused on synchronizing U.S. Army, allied, and partner nation tactical formations operating in Europe," Gen. James McConville, Army Chief of Staff, said in the press release. "It will enhance U.S. Army Europe and U.S. European Command as they work alongside allies and partners to promote regional stability and security."

According to the Wall Street Journal, Defense Secretary Mark Esper is planning to discuss where the new command will be based with his Eastern European counterparts while at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting in Brussels this week.

When the V Corps went inactive in 2013, then-commander Lt. Gen. James Terry called it a "bittersweet occasion," per Stars and Stripes. It was the first time since 1951 that Europe was without a corps headquarters.

The V Corps was first activated in 1918 to fight in France during World War I, per the Army release. In World War II, the V Corps participated in the D-Day invasion and the liberation of Europe.

V Corps will be the fourth Army corps, joining I Corps, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; III Corps, at Fort Hood, Texas; and XVIII Airborne Corps, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The Army has been heavily focusing on security in Europe since the National Defense Strategy made building up forces to counter Russia and China primary objectives "now and in the future."

This month, the Army will start moving equipment into Europe for the largest military exercise since the Cold War: Defender Europe 2020.

The exercise will last through July this year and include around 37,000 service members total.

Army recruiters hold a swearing-in ceremony for over 40 of Arkansas' Future Soldiers at the Arkansas State Capital Building. (U.S. Army/Amber Osei)

Though the Army has yet to actually set an official recruiting goal for this year, leaders are confident they're going to bring in more soldiers than last year.

Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, head of Army Recruiting Command, told reporters on Wednesday that the Army was currently 2,226 contracts ahead of where it was in 2019.

"I will just tell you that this time last year we were in the red, and now we're in the green which is — the momentum's there and we see it continuing throughout the end of the year," Muth said, adding that the service hit recruiting numbers in February that haven't been hit during that month since 2014.

Read More
A soldier reunites with his daughter at Fort Bragg, N.C. after returning from the Middle East. The 82nd Airborne Division's Immediate Response Force had been deployed since New Years Eve. Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (U.S. Army via Associated Press)

Some Fort Bragg paratroopers who left for the Middle East on a no-notice deployment last month came home Thursday.

About 3,500 soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team were sent to Kuwait beginning Jan. 1 as tensions were rising in the region. The first soldiers were in the air within 18 hours of being told to go.

Read More
In this June 16, 2018 photo, Taliban fighters greet residents in the Surkhroad district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

KABUL/WASHINGTON/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The United States and the Taliban will sign an agreement on Feb. 29 at the end of a week long period of violence reduction in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban said on Friday.

Read More
A developmental, early variant of the Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV) autonomously conducts maneuvers on the Elizabeth River during its demonstration during Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2020 at Naval Station Norfolk on Feb. 12, 2020. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Rebekah M. Rinckey)

Large cargo ships, small fishing boats and other watercraft sail safely past Naval Station Norfolk every day, but there's always a possibility that terrorists could use any one of them to attack the world's largest naval base.

While Navy security keeps a close eye on every vessel that passes, there's an inherent risk for the sailors aboard small patrol boats who are tasked with helping keep aircraft carriers, submarines and destroyers on base safe from waterborne attacks.

So the Navy experimented Wednesday to test whether an unmanned vessel could stop a small boat threatening the base from the Elizabeth River.

Read More
(Nancy Turner via Raleigh News & Observer)

Nancy Turner's modern version of keeping a candle in the window while her soldier son is away is a string of electric lights on the front porch that burn red, white and blue.

But where Turner sees patriotism and support for the troops, her Garner homeowners association sees a covenant violation and a potential $50-per-day fine.

Turner was surprised to receive a threatening email last week after an employee from Sentry Management, which manages the Sheldon Place HOA, spotted the illegal illumination during a neighborhood patrol.

"I honestly had no idea it would be a problem," Turner said.

The HOA did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent as a message through its Facebook page.

Read More