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Servicemembers in Colorado put on 'prepare to deploy' orders because of Russia

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said elements of the 4th Infantry Division from Fort Carson are on "increased readiness" because of the situation with Ukraine.

DENVER — Some servicemembers in Colorado are on a "heightened preparedness to deploy" status as tension continues between Russia and Ukraine.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a press conference Thursday that elements of the 4th Infantry Division from Fort Carson have been placed on "increased readiness." The same is true for servicemembers at several other locations across the country including Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

The majority of these servicemembers would be dedicated to NATO forces if and when Russia invades Ukraine. They would be able to provide medical support, aviation support, logistic support and combat formations, Kirby said.

In total, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has put 8,500 American troops on standby.

Also Thursday, as reported by the Associated Press, President Joe Biden warned Ukraine that there is a "distinct possibility" of Russia taking military action against their country.

Russia has been gathering forces at the Ukrainian border, demanding NATO deny membership to Ukraine and other ex-Soviet countries and ordering NATO to rollback military deployments in central and Eastern Europe.

RELATED: Coloradan worries for family still in Ukraine

RELATED: US reduces Ukraine embassy presence as tensions rise

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