The U.S. military is shifting its focus toward preparing for great-power conflict, and on the ground in Europe, where heightened tensions with Russia have a number of countries worried about renewed conflict.
That includes new attention to short-range air-defense — a capability needed against an adversary that could deploy ground-attack aircraft, especially helicopters, and contest control of the air during a conflict.
Ten years after the two countries fought a short but deeply formative war, Russia is quietly seizing more territory on a disputed border with Georgia as it warns NATO against admitting the tiny Eurasian nation as a member state.
The U.S. Marine Corps' Black Sea Rotational Force left its base in Romania for training in Bulgaria this month, carrying out exercises that are another sign the U.S. military is preparing for a kind of conflict that's different from what it has faced in recent decades.
U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolts are back in the Baltics this month, practicing for rough landings on improvised runways as a part of Saber Strike 18, the annual exercise where NATO and partner forces work to improve their ability to operate across Europe and with NATO's forward-deployed battle groups.