U.S. Abrams battle tanks arrive in Lithuania for joint drills

23:44, 15 March 2015
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The first shipment of U.S. heavy military equipment arrived at the railway station of Gaiziunai, Lithuania, on March 15. The equipment will be used in Lithuanian-U.S. joint drills.

The first shipment of U.S. heavy combat materiel arrived in Lithuania / Photo from delfi.lt

"The equipment has already arrived. It currently being unloaded and prepared for transportation to the permanent deployment site," First Lieutenant Andrius Dilda, public affairs officer at the Land Forces of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, told Baltic News Service.

A new shift of rotating U.S. forces, around 150 troops, are bringing with them about 20 vehicles, including five M1A2 Abrams battle tanks, which will be deployed in Rukla.

Lithuanian National Defense Minister Juozas Olekas said that the presence of allied forces in Lithuania is "also a clear message to those who may attempt on the stability and peace in the region and to whom the values we have been cherishing for nearly a quarter of the decade are foreign."

U.S. military have been deployed on a rotating basis in the Baltic States and Poland since the spring of 2014.

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