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By John A. Tirpak

The U.S. military told 8,500 troops in the continental U.S. to prepare to deploy to Europe for a potential Ukraine contingency within five days, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby announced Jan. 24. These troops would be the U.S. contribution to a 40,000-member NATO Response Force being organized in response to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, Kirby said. There has been no decision to actually deploy that forceā€”and the troops now on alert may not go to Europe at all, Kirby said. The bulk of the units being alerted are Active-duty ground troops, he added.