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2019.09.25 10:00

US army deploying to Lithuania with heavy armour, mechanised troops

LRT.lt2019.09.25 10:00

A battalion-sized rotational force will deploy in Lithuania from October 2019 until spring 2020, according to a Lithuanian Defence Ministry press release. The mechanised unit is also equipped with heavy armour and is part of the US Army Europe Operation Atlantic Resolve aimed at ensuring deterrence against Russia.

“We have sought for a larger long-term US military involvement in Lithuania and the region consistently and patiently," said Lithuanian Minister of Defence Raimundas Karoblis. "Therefore the deployment of the U.S. Army battalion for a longer period of time is good and awaited news and a result of our efforts and investment."

He also underscored that Lithuania has already hosted various US battalion in the past, however, they usually came in the framework of concrete exercises. This time the US forces are arriving for a long-term deployment/

According to Karoblis, this deployment has been enabled by Lithuania’s investments into the training infrastructure in Pabradė and other places and the efforts of the logistical support personnel of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.

The 1st Armoured Battalion of the 9th Regiment, 1st Division, will bring 30 Abrams tanks, 25 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs), and 70 wheeled vehicles. They will be based at the training area in Pabradė.

The US forces will also help Lithuanian forces implement the mechanisation process following the purchase of Boxer IFVs.

Read more: Boxer IFVs officially handed over to Lithuanian military

US forces have been rotating to the Baltic states and Eastern Europe since spring 2014 as part of the Operation Atlantic Resolve following Russia's aggression in Ukraine.