NATO troops concentrated on Lithuanian-Russian border
Group of soldiers and officers from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Lithuania, and the United States are based in Lithuania in framework of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP).
Here as well, if not formally part of the eFP group, is an American tank company from the 3rd Armor Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Carson, Colorado. Its sister companies have been dispersed to Estonia and Latvia to work with the eFP battalions there, while the brigade itself, which came over from the United States in January, remains in Poland.
Many of the American officers and soldiers are Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, used to working among populations lukewarm about their presence at best and hostile at worst.
Special media informs that this is a historic deployment for NATO, for many reasons. It is the first deployment of substantial combat forces in NATO’s east. As well, Germany’s command of the Lithuanian eFP battalion is evidence that Berlin is waking up to the need for its leadership in European security. Finally, it is one of the first real signs that NATO is shaking off its expeditionary and counter-insurgency mindset, forged over more than two decades of operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan, and going back to defense and deterrence.