U.S. Bolsters Defenses on Russia’s Borders – Tests Rapid Rocket Deployments To Romania

The U.S. Army via Flickr

Despite the disinformation about the president’s commitment to NATO, under President Trump, the U.S. has significantly enhanced NATO’s defense where it matters most on Russia’s borders. As part of that capability, during Trump’s four years in office, the U.S. Army in Europe has significantly restored its long-range artillery and rocket firepower.

And, as David Axes notes in Forbes, the Army “wants the Russians to know” it. In its latest message to Moscow, writes Axe:

The U.S. Army sneaked a pair of long-range rocket-launchers near Russia’s Black Sea outpost on Thursday, fired off a few rockets then hurried the launchers back to the safety of their base in Germany. All within a few hours.

The one-day mission by the Army’s new Europe-based artillery brigade was practice for high-tech warfare.

As Axe describes, to accomplish this high-speed rocket drill the Army loaded two new wheeled (not tracked) High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) onto U.S. Air Force MC-130J transports in Germany, then flew them to Romania “unloaded, set up at a Romanian training range, fired rockets into the Black Sea then drove back to the airfield, loaded back onto the C-130s and flew home to Germany.”

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea under the Obama administration, the Black Sea fast was becoming “a Russian lake.” To deter further Russian aggression, in late 2018 the Army sent a field artillery brigade back to Germany to fill a major firepower gap. The last U.S. tracked Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs) had been withdrawn from Europe in 2006 to focus on fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Axe explains that the “Army—and U.S. Marine Corps, which shares the capability—calls these missions ‘HIMARS Rapid Infiltrations,’ or HIRAINs.” Deploying these wheeled rocket-launchers quickly by air means they can show up almost anywhere near an airfield. This new technique, notes Axe, is a “cornerstone capability of the ground-combat branch’s new approach to heavy firepower.”

As a Marine artillery officer aboard an amphibious assault ship in the Far East in the 1980s, we practiced something similar using 155mm artillery guns slung by helicopters, for similar quick turnaround “artillery raids.” As the Forward Observer, I would travel via separate helicopter to serve as the aerial spotter for the gun once it was dropped and set up for firing. But these new rocket launchers pack a lot more punch.

The U.S. Army’s new focus on Romania and the Black Sea is certain to ruffle Moscow’s feathers. Especially, as Axe notes, “considering the new munitions the Army is developing for the HIMARS and MLRS. These include an anti-ship missile and a replacement for ATACMS that can travel as far as 310 miles.”

Axe concludes:

It’s just 250 miles across the Black Sea from the Romanian coast to Crimea. Army HIMARS flying in and out of Romania pose a serious, and unpredictable, threat to Russian forces in the region.


Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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Tom
Tom
11 months ago

US forces are insanely playing with matches. Ringing Russia with anti-missile defense systems is bad enough. But sneaking rockets close to Russian territory and shooting off a couple rounds qualifies the people who did this for a padded room. Put the shoe on the other foot. What if Russia was stationing anti-missile defense systems on the US border? Russia would be denounced, right? Why isn’t there any outrage over the US threatening Russia with missiles and rockets. Do you realize how dangerous it is? Russia’s a nuclear superpower with advanced cruise missile systems deployed in their TRIAD.

Chanah
Chanah
11 months ago
Reply to  Tom

As it stated in the article, this was a sign of US commitment to NATO in response to Russia’s incursions into the Black Sea, a real no-no to the NATO Black Sea nations. Russian started the encroachment as a continuation of taking more territory as they did in the Crimea. This was well within NATO’s rights to defend this territory. So there is no correlation with your example of Russia threatening the US border.

Floyd Hardee
11 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Not really. It shows Russia if they make a bad move we will cream them. Now we need to show China the Virus Killers we are prepared to repay their kindness for sneaking that deadly virus out to us. Pay back will be ______________________ you fill in the blank!

Truckmant
Truckmant
11 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Russia nor the USA will ever start a nuclear war because both know that would be the end of this world its china and North Korea and Irian that are Stupid and needs to be watched

Pius Gross
Pius Gross
11 months ago

It is about time that the United States is showing some muscle.

Floyd Hardee
11 months ago
Reply to  Pius Gross

It will stop if Biden replaces Trump. Its up to the Supreme Court. Have they been bought out by the Liberals and Satan, or will they stand up for us, Trump, and true justice?

Truckmant
Truckmant
11 months ago
Reply to  Floyd Hardee

under Biden you can expect the same kind of ass kissing we had under Obama we will be right back in the crapper especially with the likes of AOC and that squad because they are true coummust and want to take away everybodys rights


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