U.S. Army M1 Abrams main battle tanks, HMMWVs and other tactical military vehicles were spotted in Lithuanian forest in the training area Pabrade, 15 km from the Belarusian-Lithuanian border, according to multiple reports.
According to a recent Army service news release, U.S. troops and tanks have arrived in Lithuania for a nine-month rotation deployment to support Lithuanian land forces with interoperability training missions and deterrence for foreign aggressors.
“Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division were met by Lithuanian rail operators to execute the task of getting M1 Abrams tanks, HMMWVs and other tactical military vehicles off rail cars on Dec. 1, 2020, outside the Pabrade Training Area, Lithuania,” the Army notice says.
“This means we’re here and ready to get to work,” said Sgt. Maj. Nathanael Green, the regiment’s operations sergeant major. “The wind here cuts right through you but the Troopers did great.”
As the vehicles rolled down the ramps from the rail cars, it marked the beginning of the battalion’s nine-month rotation to conduct interoperability missions with U.S. partners and allies to aid the deterrence of foreign threats.
“It was nerve-racking driving the tank off the rail in reverse,” said Spc. Devin Weber of Bravo Company, 2-8 Cav. Reg.
As the main body flights of the battalion’s Troopers begin filtering in, 2-8 Cav. Reg. stands ready to begin training and working alongside Lithuanian and other partner and allied nation forces.
Meanwhile, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has instructed the state secretary of the Security Council and the defense minister to promptly work out an action plan to deliver an adequate response to actions relating to the deployment of armored vehicles and a contingent of U.S. armed forces in Lithuania in the direct vicinity of the Belarusian border.
Belarus officials concerned that units of an American armored division are already arriving in Lithuania. They will be stationed in the training area Pabrade literally 15km away from the Belarusian border.
Also, Lukashenko has accused NATO of a military buildup near Belarus’ borders and has said he will ask for Russian military help if needed.