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US troop reinforcements arrive near Poland-Ukraine border

US soldiers stand next to their vehicles at a temporary base installed close to the Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport, south eastern Poland, February 16, 2022. (Wojtek RADWANSKI / AFP)
US soldiers stand next to their vehicles at a temporary base installed close to the Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport, south eastern Poland, February 16, 2022. (Wojtek RADWANSKI / AFP)

Dozens of US paratroopers land at a Polish airport near the Ukrainian border as part of a deployment of several thousand to bolster NATO’s eastern flank amid tensions with Russia.

AFP reporters witness the soldiers leaving a Boeing C-17 military transport plane and boarding buses at Rzeszow Airport, located around 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the border with Ukraine.

Another group of soldiers, around a dozen, board two Black Hawk helicopters that then took off. Two Chinook helicopters are also seen landing.

Armored cars, military trucks, containers and dozens more soldiers are seen at a makeshift camp set up in and around a glass-covered conference center opposite the airport terminal.

“We don’t know yet,” a sergeant manning a checkpoint into the camp, who declined to be named, tells AFP when asked how long they might stay.

The US has said it is planning temporarily to deploy a total of around 4,700 additional soldiers to EU and NATO member Poland in response to Russia’s troop buildup around Ukraine.

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