Defense secretary pulls Florida’s National Guard from Ukraine out of ‘abundance of caution’

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With overwhelming chatter that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is imminent, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has ordered around 160 members of the Florida National Guard to leave the country in an ominous sign that violence could erupt at any time.

On Saturday, Austin relocated the troops which were operating in the area “out of an abundance of caution,” with Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby making the announcement via Twitter.

“@SecDef has ordered the temporary repositioning of @FLGuard troops out of Ukraine. Abundance of caution, safety and security of our personnel his paramount concern. We remain committed to our relationship with the Ukrainian armed forces,” he wrote.

“They are departing Ukraine and will reposition elsewhere in Europe,” the Pentagon spox added in a press release.

The troops which are a part of the Army National Guard’s 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and are known as Task Force Gator “has been training Ukrainian forces in reconnaissance, on shoulder-fired weapons systems with bunker-busting munitions that can pierce hardened structures or lightly armored vehicles, and on how to prepare their less experienced fighters who have never handled a rifle before,” according to the Miami Herald.

The Military Times quoted an unnamed senior State Department official who told reporters,  “It appears increasingly likely that this is where this situation is headed, towards some kind of active conflict,”

On Saturday, the State Department also ordered all non-emergency employees at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to leave, citing reports of a Russian military buildup at the border that indicates the “potential for significant military action.”

According to the department’s Level 4 advisory: “On February 12, 2022, the Department of State ordered the departure of most U.S. direct hire employees from Embassy Kyiv due to the continued threat of Russian military action. U.S. citizens should not travel to Ukraine, and those in Ukraine should depart immediately using commercial or other privately available transportation options.”

In another report from the UK’s Financial Times, Russia is also evacuating diplomatic staff from Ukraine as the possibility for war has never been greater.

President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will speak by phone on Saturday amid escalating tensions in a border conflict on the other side of the planet that has the full attention of the White House which has warned that an invasion could come at any time, with Biden putting NATO allies on alert that an invasion will take place next week.

On Friday, Biden departed from D.C. for Camp David, offering no comment to reporters as the masked man took some selfies and then flew the coop.

Reuters has confirmed that Biden has ordered an additional 3,000 troops to Poland as the regime puts an increasing number of American boots on the ground in a region that could explode at any minute.

Whether his tough talk serves as a deterrent to an adversary who was likely emboldened after the nation’s 46th president cut and ran in Afghanistan remains to be seen.


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