The latest rotation of American troops, the Hounds Battalion (3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment (3-67) and the Battle Kings Battalion (1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery (1-9), began service in Lithuania Thursday. At the ceremony at Pabradė Vice Minister Žilvinas Tomkus thanked the U.S. troops for the commitment to regional security and underscored that creation of top quality service conditions was an undertaking Lithuania prioritized.
“We are grateful for the steadfast U.S. support to our national and regional security. U.S. force presence on the ground side by side with the NATO enhanced Forward Presence is the backbone of our security. Consequently, it is our priority to make sure that Allied troops in Lithuania have the best service conditions. Stationed at camp Herkus, the American military personnel can see the intense ongoing efforts to fully refurbish all infrastructure needed by the Allies,” said Vice Minister Ž. Tomkus welcoming the new and farewelling the outgoing rotations at the ceremony alongside with Commander of the Land Force Brigadier General Artūras Radvilas.
The U.S. rotational battalion Hand Over-Take Over ceremony at the General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area was also attended by Chargé d’affaires ad interim at the U.S. Embassy Tamir Waser who underscored the Allied resolve to defend every inch of NATO territory.
“Welcoming the 8th U.S. troop rotation to Pabradė, I thank both the outgoing and the incoming battalion for their dedication and commitment to work and train with our Allies in Lithuania. It builds the strength of both countries’ forces. I would also like to thank Lithuania and the Lithuanian Armed Forces for unfailing hospitality and cooperation which are critical elements in the success of these deployments. Our partnership is a great reminder that the United States and Lithuania will always stand shoulder to shoulder ready to defend every inch of NATO territory and stand guard of our common values,” said T. Waser.
Military personnel of the Hounds and the Battle Kings Battalions have replaced the Mustangs (1-8), 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, and the Rolling Thunder (3-16), 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, U.S. Army.
The American troops bring M1A2 Abrams tanks, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, trucks, ATVs and other necessary military equipment. The battalion has deployed for the 9-month rotation from its homebase in Fort Stewart, Georgia.
The United States has stepped up force presence in the Baltic States this year and its force status has been changed to uninterrupted rotational deployment. Thus the United States, Lithuania’s strategic partner and one of the key Allies in ensuring the European security, demonstrates its NATO collective defence commitment ensuring our security since the wake of the Russian war in Ukraine.
The Americans actively contribute to the assurance measures in the Baltic states not only troop presence but also with financial assistance for strengthening Lithuania’s defensive capabilities and developing military infrastructure, thus strengthening regional security and stability.
MoD / Sgt 1st Class A. Čemerka