Jakub Palowski, Defence 24, January 28 2017.
At the end of the month, the first German elements are going to be deployed to Lithuania, within the framework of expanded NATO presence on the Eastern Flank. The Bundeswehr troops will be supported by Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway.
The German contingent is going to include the 122nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion hailing from Oberviechtach, along with armoured element (of the 104th Battalion), logistics, engineering and artillery elements (of the 131st Battalion), along with a medical support unit. As it was announced by Lt. Col. Christoph Huber, commander of the 122nd Battalion, the soldiers have already gone through a preparatory training, covering, among other areas, delaying operations.
According to the provisions of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, defined back in 2016, Lithuania is going to host around 1200 soldiers, including 400-600 soldiers hailing from Germany. German MoD also announced that the aforesaid NATO contingent is going to be equipped with Leopard 2 main battle tanks and Marder IFVs. The Bundeswehr units will additionally be receiving support from the Belgian, Dutch and Norwegian forces.
Lithuanian MoD stresses the fact that the aforesaid multinational force would also utilize the CV-90 IFVs or Boxer wheeled APCs. In January, the first German soldiers will be deployed to Lithuania, to coordinate further actions, related to the prospective deployment. The transport of equipment and deployment of larger elements will begin in February, full operational capability is expected to be achieved by June.
The Lithuanians stress the fact that never before, has a unit so large been deployed and stationed within their territory. Similar elements are also going to be deployed to Poland, under the American command, with involvement seen on the part of the Romanian and British soldiers, as well as to Latvia (there, the combat group commanded by the Canadians is going to be supported by a Polish PT-91 Twardy tank unit), and Estonia (here, the United Kingdom acts as the framework nation).