A new rotation of US soldiers, deployed in Lithuania with heavy combat equipment, the Stryker armoured personnel carriers, will begin their shift as of next week.
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

Alongside the military personnel of the Lithuanian Land Force, they will be attending combined training events and improving interoperability, the Ministry of National Defence reports.

The first group of US soldiers came Sunday evening, while the main component is expected to arrive within coming days.

Just like previous US shifts, soldiers of the 2nd Cavalry Division, 3rd Division, will be deployed at the Duke Vaidotas Mechanised Infantry Battalion of the Mechanised Infantry Brigade in Rukla. The US soldiers will be taking part in combined training and exercises with military personnel of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion.

The heavy combat equipment brought by the US allies, i.e., the Stryker multi-purpose armoured wheeled personnel carriers, the HMMWV armoured all-terrain vehicles, and other combat vehicles, will also be stationed in Rukla once they reach Lithuania via Klaipėda Seaport on 9-13 January, as expected. The heavy combat equipment will be transported from Klaipėda to Rukla via railway.

Lithuania is providing full Host Nation Support to the rotating US forces.

The rotating US contingents have been deployed in the Baltic states and Poland since spring 2014 as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a reassurance to NATO allies of US commitments to collective defence in the light of Russia's aggression in Ukraine.

The US military presence will be maintained in Lithuania until the end of this year. In its turn, Lithuania seeks to have the rotating US military presence in it territory after 2015, too.

Moreover, the Alliance strengthened the Baltic states' airspace and naval security in response to geopolitical tensions in the region.

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