U.S. deploys first of 3,000 troops, 750 vehicles to Baltic states

From Rick Rozoff

Xinhua News Agency
March 12, 2015
U.S. military unit heads to E. Europe for training

WASHINGTON: The United States will deploy about 3,000 soldiers to Eastern Europe starting next week for training exercises with forces from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to reassure its European allies that are concerned about potential Russian aggression, the Pentagon said Monday.

Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters that about 750 U.S. military tanks, helicopters and other military vehicles and equipment arrived in Latvia on Monday, adding that the military equipment was part of a regular armored brigade combat team set.

Warren said the upcoming deployment of the unit from the Georgia-based 3rd Infantry Division would replace the leaving U.S. Army-Europe’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment to continue land forces training mission with its allies within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The U.S. Defense Department has earlier announced plans to trim down its permanent basing in Europe.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is stepping up short-term deployments across Europe for training purposes.

Warren said the rotation was aimed at demonstrating commitment to NATO allies due to Russia’s aggression in Ukrainian crisis.