The unit is part of the US Army Europe Operation ‘Atlantic Resolve’ and will be deployed in Lithuania through spring next year. ‘We have sought for a larger long-term U.S. military involvement in Lithuania and the region consistently and patiently. 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. The US forces is a vital factor of deterrence so it will contribute to NATO efforts in the Baltic region’, said Minister of National Defence of Lithuania, Raimundas Karoblis.
Mr. Karoblis also underscored that Lithuania has already hosted many US battalions, however, that used to be in the framework of concrete exercises. This time the US forces are arriving for a long-term deployment, not for an international exercise.
According to R. 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 in solving all the practical issues related to the deployment and presence of US troops in Lithuania.
The US unit about to deploy in Lithuania is the 1st Armoured Battalion of the 9th Regiment, 1st Division, US Army. The troops will bring heavy equipment, including 30 Abrams tanks, 25 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, 70 wheeled vehicles, and will deploy at Gen S.Žukauskas Training Area in Pabradė.
The US battalion is planned to stay in Lithuania until spring 2020. US troops will cooperate and train with Lithuanian colleagues and other allies, exchange experience while implementing mechanisation of the Lithuanian Land Force. Lithuania will ensure full Host Nation Support (lodging, logistical support, etc.) and access to infrastructure of Lithuania’s military training areas to the deploying US troops.
US armed forces have been rotating to the Baltic States and Eastern Europe since spring 2014 as part of the US Army Operation ‘Atlantic Resolve’ in the eastern part of the Alliance. It is a demonstration of the US collective defence commitment to NATO allies in ensuring security after the Russian aggression in Ukraine.