Rotational U.S. force, a battalion-sized unit of over 500 U.S. Army soldiers, will deploy in Lithuania to ensure deterrence and train in exercises shortly in October. The unit is part of the U.S. 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 U.S. forces is a vital factor of deterrence so it will contribute to NATO efforts in the Baltic region,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis says.
He also underscores that Lithuania has already hosted many U.S. battalions, however, that used to be in the framework of concrete exercises. This time the U.S. 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 U.S. troops in Lithuania.
The U.S. unit about to deploy in Lithuania is the 1st Armoured Battalion of the 9th Regiment, 1st Division, U.S. Army. The troops will bring heavy equipment – 30 Abrams tanks, 25 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, 70 wheeled vehicles – and will deploy at Gen S.Žukauskas Training Area in Pabradė.
The U.S. battalion is planned to stay in Lithuania until spring 2020 – the U.S. 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 U.S. troops.
U.S. land force soldiers have been rotating to the Baltic States and Eastern Europe since spring 2014 as part of the U.S. Army Operation Atlantic Resolve in the eastern part of the Alliance. It is a demonstration of the U.S. collective defence commitment to NATO allies in ensuring security after the Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Over a ten rotations of U.S. land troops have already been deployed to Lithuania since spring 2014, the most recent rotation was here in 2017.
The United States is Lithuania’s strategic partner and key ally to the security of the Baltic region that actively contributes to the implementation of assurance measures in the Baltic States in order to strengthen security and stability.