U.S. European Command (EUCOM) military forces will be upgraded from condition "Bravo" to condition "Charlie" by January 20. "Alpha" is the lowest alert status and "Delta" is the highest. Anonymous sources have leaked the fact that these forces may be headed to Israel "within a few weeks." This includes all U.S. forces stationed in Europe, such as inGermany, Italy, Kosovo and Bosnia.
Another source said that the U.S. "V" Corps, including the U.S. Army's 1st Armored Division and the 1st InfantryDivision, plus supporting artillery, engineer, medical and supply units, "are moving en masse to Grafenwehr," which is atraining center near Nuremberg, Germany.
Army spokesman Lt. Col. Dave LaPan confirmed the upgrading of EUCOM's alert status, saying that the alert status "goesup and down all the time." He said he was "unaware of any pending change to the threat conditions in the United StatesEuropean Command." He did say that, "I can tell you that we frequently train at Grafenwoehr. It would not be at allunusual for [those units] to move there. As far as I know, there would be no relation between the movement of forces and any raise or elevation of the threat condition."
There is no official record of a military exercise that is scheduled to take place in Grafenwoehr in January. Also, it'sbeen reported that the divisions being deployed there are bringing along contamination outfits and protective gear,which would not generally be used for training exercises.
It has also been reported that the 69th Air Defense Brigade, which is a Patriot missile brigade, is leaving Europe andgoing to Israel. Sources have said that British SAS special forces troops are preparing to deploy to "a desert climate"shortly.
It's been rumored that the families of U.S. military personnel are going to be sent back to the U.S., but the Pentagonand the State Department deny this. The last time they recommended that U.S. citizens leave Israel was in December of 1998, during a sustained attack on Iraq. The time before that was in 1991, during the Gulf War.
However, the U.S. has issued a travel advisory, warning that the "U.S. Government has indications that there is aheightened threat of terrorism in the Jewish state." U.S. Embassy and Consulate employees have been prohibited fromtraveling to volatile areas of Jerusalem and West Gaza, except for essential business.
One anonymous source has said, "When you look at all the signals coming out of Iraq, for example, they are significant.In effect, [Saddam Hussein] is saying, 'We're going to bring a lot of pain to Israel.'" He noted that Iraq has deployedRepublican Guard divisions "50 miles south of Baghdad and two divisions near the border with Syria."
Israel appears to be reinforcing its northern border with tanks, armored personnel carriers and troops, to guard againstguerilla and terrorist attacks from Lebanon. Published reports in Israel state that Israeli military commanders havebeen pressing Prime Minister Ehud Barak to fully mobilize Israel's military reserves "so they can train for whatcommanders view as an inevitable regional war."
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