Gratitude expressed to outgoing U.S. rotation

Gratitude expressed to outgoing U.S. rotation

On May 21 a symbolic farewell and decorations ceremony was held at the General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area (Pabradė region) for the United States rotational force that were deployed in Lithuania for deterrence and training alongside Lithuanian colleagues for 8 months.

1st Battalion, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment (1-9th Cav), 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Army, based at Fort Hood in Texas was deployed and training in Lithuania from October 2019 to spring of this year.

"I thank and I express my respect to the soldiers of the United States of America for the experience they have shared with us and I wish you a safe return home, enjoy the travel and stay healthy," Commander of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Logistical Support Command Colonel Ramūnas Baronas said at the formal farewell ceremony.

Half a thousand of U.S. troops deployed to Lithuania with heavy equipment - approx. 30 Abrams tanks, over 20 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, other vehicles. In its turn, Lithuania ensured full Host Nation Support - accommodation, logistical support, access to training area infrastructure.

First troops of the rotational force flew in to Lithuania in mid-October last year, their equipment was brought a little later by roads and railway.

Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys visited the rotational U.S. force at the General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area in the same month to ask about their living conditions, support received from Lithuania, their needs and combat training plans.

The U.S. troops were conducting combat training events and exercises of medium scale, shred professional expertise with Lithuanian colleagues while in Lithuania. The U.S. soldiers were also engaged outside of their base in Lithuania and direct tasks: they helped setting up a gym at General Povilas Plechavičius Cadet Lyceum School and gladly attended community events a number of times.

U.S. Army soldiers have been rotating into the Baltic States and Eastern Europe since spring 2014 as part of the U.S. Army Operation Atlantic Resolve in the eastern part of the Alliance. It is a demonstration of the U.S. collective defence commitment to NATO allies in ensuring security after the Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Prepared on the basis of information of the Lithuanian Armed Forces

Photo credits: Sgt 1st Class Erikas Suchodolskij