Soldiers of the Belgian Armed Forces was arrived in Lithuania by ferry via Klaipėda Seaport. Over 100 troops with their weaponry and roughly 50 vehicles are the forward logistical group for the arrival of the rest of the NATO enhanced forward presence battalion deployed in Lithuania as of this year.
The group is mainly formed by soldiers serving with the 18th and 29th Logistics Battalions of the Belgian Army with medical and military police units attached.
During the deployment and until the end of the first rotation Belgian soldiers will serve in Rukla where joint field training exercises of different levels with German, Dutch, and Norwegian troops will run in Lithuanian Armed Forces’ military training areas.
The Belgian soldiers are bringing mainly logistical equipment to Lithuania – transportation trucks which will give mobility to the entire battalion.
On Friday, 27 January, the Belgian equipment column moved by main and regional roads on the route Klaipėda-Rukla, the column escorted and security ensured by Lithuanian Armed Forces Military Police.
The NATO enhanced forward presence battalion in Lithuania will be led by Germany whose military personnel will also form the core of the battalion. In 2017-2018 the battalion will be manned by Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, and France, in total, roughly 1,200 soldiers.
In the context of the Russian aggression in Ukraine and changed security situation, Heads of State and Governments agreed at the NATO Summit in Warsaw to enhance allied presence in the three Baltic states and Poland by deploying NATO enhanced forward presence battalion battle groups as of 2017.