US to deploy tank battalion in Lithuania
In October the US will be deploying a tank battalion in Lithuania at a training ground several kilometers from the Belarusian border, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry announced in a post on its website.
The battalion in question is from the 9th regiment of the 1st division of the US army, and it will be deployed at a military training ground near the Lithuanian city of Pabrade, roughly 10 km from the border with Belarus. Around 500 US army personnel, 30 M1 Abrams tanks, 25 M2 Bradley fighting vehicles and 70 wheeled vehicles will be arriving in Lithuania.
The US troops will remain in the country until spring 2020, and during this time they will collaborate with their Lithuanian colleagues and other allies, train together, and share experience during the mechanization of the Baltic state’s infantry.
“The US forces are an important deterrent that will contribute to NATO’s efforts in the Baltic region,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis is cited as saying. The ministry pointed out that Lithuania has repeatedly hosted US army divisions as part of specific exercises, but this time the US troops will be deployed long-term.
US troops have been deployed in Lithuania on a rotation basis since spring 2014 as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. At the end of August, Defense News reported reported that the US intends to send Lithuania 500 armored cars worth a total of $170.8 million.
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