New US artillery regiment readying to strengthen air defense in Europe
Stars and Stripes September 15, 2023
STUTTGART, Germany — A new U.S. Army air defense unit will be activated next month in Europe with soldiers taking up positions in Germany and Italy, according to officials from the service.
The 1st Battalion, 57th Air Defense Artillery Regiment will be based out of Ansbach, Germany, and one of its batteries will operate in Vicenza, Italy, the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command said in a statement Thursday.
The battery headed to Italy will support the 173rd Airborne Brigade, which serves as the Army contingency response force in Europe.
“This battalion will provide additional surface-based air defense to the European theater,” the statement said.
The unit will fall under the command of the recently activated 52nd Air Defense Brigade, which assumed authority last month over Army air defense artillery in Europe.
The moves are part of a broader effort to expand Army air defense capabilities on the Continent, where concerns about Russian aggression have prompted a push to rebuild a force that dwindled during a long post-Cold War military drawdown.
The new units were announced by President Joe Biden during the 2022 NATO summit in Madrid and came in response to worries about a potential spillover into allied countries from Russia’s war on Ukraine.