US to move troops to Lithuania for military exercise

4 September 2020 (Last Updated September 4th, 2020 12:49)

The US is set to move a larger military unit to Lithuania for an exercise amid political turmoil and protests in neighbouring Belarus.

US to move troops to Lithuania for military exercise
An M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The US deployment is Lithuania is expected to include this vehicle. Credit: Sgt Eric Garland.

The US is set to move a larger military unit to Lithuania for an exercise amid political turmoil and protests in neighbouring Belarus.

The unit is expected to include 500 American troops and 40 vehicles, Reuters reported citing a Lithuanian army spokesperson.

The US detachment is expected to contain Abrams tanks and Bradley armoured troop carriers.

Lithuania is scheduled to conduct an annual exercise this month where contingents from France, Germany, Italy, Poland and other countries are expected to participate.

However, the US deployment will continue until November. Lithuania did not clarify if units of other nations will also stay beyond 25 September, when the exercise ends.

Protests in Belarus erupted following a disputed presidential election held last month.

The incumbent Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, who was declared the winner in the election, dismissed reports of electoral fraud and accused Nato of a military build-up near the borders, the news agency added.

He also warned of accepting Russian help, if required, further fuelling tensions in the region.

Lithuania, a Nato member, said that the US troop deployment is not directed towards any neighbour.

Earlier this year, Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace announced that it will deliver Protector Remote Weapon Station (RWS) to the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The sale was being carried out as part of the US foreign military sales programme.

The RWS system will be integrated on Oshkosh Defense joint light tactical vehicles (JLTV).