Fort Polk units at increased readiness status over Russia-Ukraine tension

Published 2:33 pm Friday, January 28, 2022

Troops at Fort Polk are at an “increased readiness posture” as tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine, according to officials with the U.S. Department and Defense and officials over the Fort Polk military installation.

According to Press Secretary John F. Kirby, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has placed a range of U.S. military units — comprising a total of 8,500 troops — on a heightened preparedness to deploy should Russia invade Ukraine.

Elements of the 82nd Airborne Division and the 18th Airborne Corps out of Fort Bragg, N.C., the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky., and of the Fourth Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colo., have been identified by Austin as being on heightened preparedness to deploy.

On Thursday, Kirby identified other units, including Fort Polk, that are on the increased readiness posture and said the units include medical support, aviation support, logistics support and combat formations.

“The vast majority of the troops the secretary put out on ‘prepare to deploy’ are in fact, dedicated to the NATO Response Force,” Kirby stated in information released by the Department of Defense.

Fort Polk officials described the heightened readiness action as one that prescribes the number of days a unit has to be ready to deploy, if ordered to do so. Officials said at this time, it is not a deployment order for Fort Polk soldiers.

“Our soldiers maintain the highest levels of readiness and are prepared to deploy anywhere in the world. People remain our number one priority. We will ensure that the soldiers, whether training or stationed at JRTC and Fort Polk are ready to fight and win,” Fort Polk Commander Brig. Gen. David Doyle said.