Amidst the still-ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the Obama administration is moving the last U.S. battle tanks from Germany and, thus, from Europe.

At the same time, the Pentagon also is disbanding two of the U.S. Army’s heavy brigades in Germany. Last year, the 170th Infantry out of Baumholder disbanded, while the 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade at Grafenwöhr is in the process of doing the same.

Abram tank out of GermanyOne of 22 Abram battle tanks, bound for South Carolina, being loaded at the railhead in Kaisersalutern, Germany (photo by Alexander Burnett/U.S. Army). 

John Vandiver reports for Stars and Stripes, April 4, 2014, that the U.S. Army’s 69-year history of basing main battle tanks on German soil quietly ended last month when 22 Abrams tanks, a main feature of armored combat units throughout the Cold War, embarked for the U.S.

On March 18, the remaining tanks were loaded up at the 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s (TSC) railhead in Kaiserslautern where they then made the journey to the shipping port in Bremerhaven, Germany. There they boarded a ship bound for South Carolina.

“There is no [U.S.] tank on German soil. It’s a historic moment,” said 21st TSC spokesman Lt. Col. Wayne Marotto.

From World War II on through the Cold War, tanker units were a heavy presence in Germany. At its peak, Germany was home to 20 NATO armored divisions, or about 6,000 tanks, according to the 21st TSC.

In an Army story about the tanks, Sgt. Jeremy Jordan of the 529th Military Police Company said, “It is an honor to be one of the soldiers escorting the last battle tanks out of Germany. As these tanks sail back to the U.S., we are closing a chapter in history.”

The vacating of the battle tanks from Germany and their transport to South Carolina prompted Dave Gibson of Examiner.com to observe that “all of this occurs amid Russia’s recent annexation of Crimea, and their ongoing invasion of Ukraine. It is obvious that Russian President Vladimir Putin is well on his way to reconstructing the former Soviet Union, it is equally obvious that neither Europe nor the United States is going to lift a finger to stop him.”

Gibson wonders if “there may be more to this move than simply leaving our decades-old ally unprotected and vulnerable to an invasion from the East.”

He writes:

Given Obama’s penchant for bending over backwards to accommodate illegal aliens and drug smugglers entering this country from Mexico, it is safe to assume that our fearless (Dear) leader is not planning on sending the tanks to border.

No, it is much more likely that Obama is planning to suspend the Posse Comitatus Act and deploy these tanks (along with the 2,700 MRAPs [Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles] already purchased by the Dept. of Homeland Security) on U.S. soil when he finally declares martial law.

Don’t be surprised when the Bundy ranch is surrounded with heavy armored brigades, but by then, it will be too late to do anything about it.

See also:

~StMA

Contributed by the Consortium of Defense Analysts.