Support our mission
U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment arrive at Aviano Air Base, Italy, on May 23, 2022, after their deployment to Latvia. During the deployment, the paratroopers took part in training exercises with NATO allies.

U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment arrive at Aviano Air Base, Italy, on May 23, 2022, after their deployment to Latvia. During the deployment, the paratroopers took part in training exercises with NATO allies. (John Yountz/U.S. Army)

VICENZA, Italy ⁠— More than 300 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade are back at their home base after deploying to Latvia to support NATO following the February launch of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Some 330 troops assigned to 2nd Battalion, 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment finished the return trip to Italy on Wednesday from their mission at Camp Adazi, Latvia, the brigade said Thursday. Some troops were already back in Italy on Monday.

Multiple flights were required to ferry the troops back, so the return of the battalion was spread over three days.

The unit deployed to Latvia on Feb. 24, the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, within 17 hours of notification, according to the brigade.

The battalion was deployed to demonstrate the United States’ commitment to NATO allies and bolster defensive capabilities, said Capt. Rob Haake, a brigade spokesman.

The 173rd Airborne Brigade is the Army's contingency response force in Europe, rapidly deploying to the U.S., European, African and Central Command areas of responsibility. It routinely trains alongside NATO allies and partners.

author picture
Nancy is an Italy-based reporter for Stars and Stripes who writes about military health, legal and social issues. An upstate New York native who served three years in the U.S. Army before graduating from the University of Arizona, she previously worked at The Anchorage Daily News and The Seattle Times. Over her nearly 40-year journalism career she’s won several regional and national awards for her stories and was part of a newsroom-wide team at the Anchorage Daily News that was awarded the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
twitter Email

Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up