US President Joe Biden is meeting Finland's leader Sauli Niinisto on Thursday


  • Biden's signed an executive order authorizing mobilization of up to 3,000 personnel
  • The decision reflects the administration's commitment to maintaining and reinforcing military capabilities, Pentagon said
  • Operation Atlantic Resolve is now officially designated as a contingency operation

President Joe Biden has issued an executive order that authorizes the mobilization of a specific reserve force comprising up to 3,000 personnel. The move is aimed at augmenting the armed forces in their support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

The decision reflects the administration's commitment to maintaining and strengthening military capabilities in alignment with national security priorities.

"Today, the president signed an Executive Order approving the mobilization of select reserve forces... with no more than 3,000 personnel augmenting the armed forces in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve," Joint Staff Director for Operations Lt. Gen. Douglas A. Sims said Thursday.

In a significant development, Operation Atlantic Resolve, which involves the deployment of combat-ready forces to Europe, will now be officially designated as a contingency operation.

"This new designation benefits troops and families with increases in authorities, entitlements and access to the reserve component forces and personnel," Sims said in a statement from the Department of Defense. "This [executive order] reaffirms the unwavering support and commitment to defend NATO's eastern flank in the wake of Russia's illegal and unprovoked war on Ukraine."

At a news briefing, Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder highlighted the significance of designating Operation Atlantic Resolve as a contingency operation. It grants the U.S. access to enhanced capabilities and authorities, enabling it to provide more effective support and sustainment for its forces deployed in the region. The decision reflects a strategic approach to bolstering the readiness and capabilities of U.S. forces, ensuring they have the necessary resources and flexibility to respond to evolving security challenges in Europe. By unlocking these capabilities, the U.S. demonstrates its commitment to maintaining a strong and responsive presence in support of its allies and collective defense efforts, Ryder said.

The U.S. European Command (EUCOM) clarified that designating Operation Atlantic Resolve as a contingency operation does not result in any immediate changes to the current force posture levels of the country in Europe.

Navy Capt. Bill Speaks, a spokesperson for EUCOM, confirmed that the command is gearing up to leverage the newly granted authority associated with the contingency operation designation of Operation Atlantic Resolve. This step aligns with the U.S.' unwavering commitment to NATO's collective security. By utilizing the new authority, EUCOM demonstrates its dedication to maintaining a robust and proactive approach to safeguarding the security and well-being of NATO allies. The move underscores the U.S.'s ongoing support for collective defense efforts and emphasizes its readiness to fulfill its responsibilities within the NATO alliance, he added.

"These authorities will ensure long-term resilience in EUCOM's continued heightened level of presence and operations. This will not change current force-posture levels in Europe," Speaks said in the statement.

Describing the current situation in Ukraine as "severe," Sims noted, "Despite being shot at, bombed, and facing well dug-in Russian defenses in tough terrain, Ukrainian forces are doing a remarkable job with their new equipment and techniques."

In response to Russia's invasion, Washington swiftly deployed an additional 20,000 troops to Europe last year, effectively increasing the total number of U.S. forces on the continent to over 100,000. This deployment includes new rotations of 10,000 troops in Poland, which has emerged as a vital hub for supporting Ukraine.

At the recent NATO summit held in Lithuania, the U.S. and its allies pledged to have 300,000 troops ready for rapid deployment within a 30-day timeframe or less. However, individual member countries face challenges regarding equipment and troop readiness due to limited military funding over several decades, Yahoo News reported.

The recent developments coincide with Ukraine's ongoing efforts to push against Russia's primary defensive lines in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions. While senior Pentagon officials remain optimistic about the Ukrainian forces' potential to regain substantial territory in the near future, they acknowledge that progress has been slower than anticipated.