Rotating brigades will be stationed in Eastern Europe from the the beginning of 2017 with three fully equipped combat brigades making up the US Army contingent. A brigade consists of about 4,000 troops.
“The army is implementing a plan that continues to demonstrate our strong and balanced approach to the NATO allies and partners in deterrence of aggressive Russian actions in Eastern Europe and elsewhere,” said the US Supreme Allied Commander in Europe General Philip Breedlove.
More American equipment in Lithuania
Lithuania’s Defence Minister Juozas Olekas says that while the US will not be sending more troops to the Baltic country, American soldiers will be bringing more heavy weaponry.
“The scope of US troops’ presence in Lithuania will remain more or less the same (…) but US forces will bring more modern heavy weaponry. The rotation time will also be longer, and military training will intensify. The United States’ military presence in Lithuania will be more visible and more effective,” Olekas said in a statement.
“Reinforced US military presence in Europe and planned additional funding for the European Reassurance Initiative, with no doubt, open opportunities for the United States’ swifter response, strengthening of forces in Europe in case of any crisis and greatly contributes to the Alliance’s reinforced deterrence position in the wake of existing threats,” Olekas added.
The US Department of Defense plans to quadruple its next year’s military budget for Europe to €3.1 billion, from €725 million this year.
Over 300 American troops are currently taking part in joint military training with Lithuanian troops.
The United States have been deploying company-size contingents in each of the three Baltic states and Poland since 2014.