Rotational heavy U.S. battalion with combat equipment arrived in Kaunas. European railway track leading to Kaunas used for the first time for logistics

Rotational heavy U.S. battalion with combat equipment arrived in Kaunas. European railway track...

Heavy equipment of the United States rotational force arrive in Kaunas today via the newly built railway track. On May 26-29 it will be moved to the General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area at Pabradė with Lithuanian Military Police escort via public roads.

The moved equipment comes with the 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, U.S. Army, or 1-66, permanently stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado, U.S., as U.S. force rotations in Lithuania change over. By the end June the new rotation will fully replace the outgoing one, troops of the 3rd Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment which had been deployed in Lithuania with their equipment since last autumn.

1-66 personnel and equipment disembarked at the port of Alexandroupoli in Greece in late March and have taken for the first time the European rail to Kaunas Intermodal Terminal. The newly built infrastructure of the Lithuanian Railway AB enables transportation of heavy equipment via the European Rail Baltica track up to Palemonas yard in Kaunas instead of the previous unloading point At Šeštokai, Lazdijai region. The brand new access road also ensures a smooth unloading process in the terminal: the military equipment is moved down a ramp without the need for additional lifting equipment. The new infrastructure of Kaunas Intermodal Terminal takes the load of heavy military equipment transportation off public roads and onto railways and thus improves mobility, speed and flexibility of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and Allies in the event of threat.

The new U.S. rotation brings M1A2 Abrams tanks, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, M1068A3 armored personnel carriers, trucks, ATVs, and other necessary military equipment, in total, approx. 180 vehicles. It all will be move to from Kaunas to Pabradė during the dark part of the day (~20:00-00.:00hrs) to avoid ordinary traffic disruptions.

The United States is deploying forces to 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 stands as a U.S. demonstration of its collective defence commitment to NATO allies and ensures security in the wake of the Russian aggression Ukraine.

Photo credits: Maj Paulius Babilas.

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