Is NATO Bluffing Or Is IT Beefing Up Forces to Back a Ukrainian Offensive?

There is a lot of curious military activity involving NATO forces and equipment that is not receiving much media scrutiny.

Let us start with the recent action by the U.S. Air Mobility Command removing tail numbers and unit info from planes:

Air Mobility Command has directed its refueling and cargo planes to obscure the majority of identifying information painted on the aircraft, citing national security concerns — an unusual move that is alarming to government watchdogs. . . .

“Because of operational security concerns, we cannot provide specifics, though our aircraft will maintain markings as required by law,” Stewart said in the provided statement.

The change in the paint schemes, first reported by Aviation Week, comes a little more than a month after Air Mobility commander Gen. Mike Minihan sent a memo to his service members telling them to prepare for a war with China and warning them that it could be coming as soon as 2025.

But despite AMC’s stated justification of national security concerns, the new move to obscure some identifying info on planes is both alarming and puzzling to government watchdogs and transparency advocates.

You betcha it is alarming. I received the following email from an old friend, a genuine Spec Ops warrior. I think of him as the E.F. Hutton of Special Ops — when he speaks you better damn well listen. He wrote:

This move is unnecessary because deception flights have been used during and since WW-II, as well as fake tail numbers that have backstops if investigated. For example, our old XXX airplane had several tail numbers that we could change/replace with a hair dryer (heat-sticky lettering) and all of them were backstopped. So why would Biden’s Air Farce (er, Air Force) decide that now is a good time to eliminate the identifiable info from admin transport aircraft? These are the aircraft that fly supplies into Ukraine, fly cash to Iran, give arms to the Taliban, etc. What is the Biden Administration up to that makes them concerned about our aircraft being identified? This kind of stuff sickens me.

Some of those aircraft are not just flying supplies, they also are ferrying U.S. soldiers to Eastern Europe, including elements of a U.S. light infantry division to Poland. Those U.S. troops are being deployed on Poland’s border with Ukraine and there is not a planned military exercise to justify their presence.

Stephen Bryen, writing in the Asia Times, reports that:

Huge amounts of equipment either have arrived already in Poland, where they’re ready to be moved into Ukrainian territory, or are on their way. In addition, NATO is rapidly bolstering its forces. This past Saturday the US-flagged vehicle carrier Liberty Pride sailed into the port of Alexandroupolis, Greece, carrying military equipment destined for NATO forces. . . .

How many other US ships are in the ocean at the moment or arriving at other ports, isn’t yet known. But what is known is that NATO is girding itself for a spillover, once the Ukrainian offensive gets underway.

The main focus of the Ukrainian spring offensive likely is an assault on Crimea and on Russian forces in the south. The objective is to cut them off (Kherson area across to Zaphorizia) and systematically destroy them, followed by a big push into Crimea.

The US is supplying a huge amount of war materiel for this assault. It includes bridging equipment that can support German-origin Leopard II tanks, which weigh more than 62 tons (roughly the same as the phantom M1 Abrams tanks that won’t arrive until next year, if ever).

Then there is this photo of a massive array of U.S. military equipment staged on the docks of the Port of Gdynia in Poland. Some are speculating this equipment is headed for Ukraine. An unnamed source cited at Zerohedge claims the tanks and vehicles are:

at the Polish port “in preparation for redeployment to the continental United States after serving in the Operation Atlantic Resolve.”

I would note that none of the equipment is painted in a color scheme appropriate for operating in Ukraine. It also is not clear when this photo/video was shot. However, elements of the main U.S. armored division have been active in Poland in the last month:

The 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team “Greywolf,” 1st Cavalry Division, transferred authority of U.S. Army operations in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve to the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team “Black Jack,” 1st Cav. Div., during a transfer of authority ceremony at Drawsko-Pomorskie Training Area, Poland, Saturday.

Over the past seven months, 3rd ABCT participated in multi-national training exercises in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Greece, Italy, the UK and Germany. The Greywolf Brigade also trained in strategically important locations in the Baltics and the NATO Battlegroup Poland.

“Simply put, you’ve made a difference for your allies and the NATO Alliance and have done all your country asked of you,” said Col. John Gilliam, 3rd ABCT commander, 1st Cav. Div. “I could not be prouder of all of your hard work, and you’ve earned a well-deserved break with your families who are eagerly awaiting your return to Fort Hood.”

Is this a bluff or is the United States and its NATO allies ramping up to support a Ukrainian attempt to retake the Crimea? In my view this has all the makings of a major miscalculation on the part of NATO. If we are hearing about this you can be certain that Russia’s military intelligence is keeping track of equipment and troop movements. I am curious what you think is going on?