(VILNIUS) – The formation of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battlegroup in Lithuania was completed with the arrival of around 200 Norwegian servicemen and servicewoman in Kaunas Airport on Monday evening, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
The troops from the Norwegian Army’s Telemark Battalion and Northern Brigade units will join the German-led multinational battalion stationed in Rukla, in central Lithuania.
“From this moment, the battlegroup is fully staffed. We welcome the Norwegians,” the ministry quoted Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Richter, head of public relations at the battlegroup in Lithuania, as saying in a press release.
Around 60 pieces of Norwegian military equipment, including Leopard tanks, CV 90 infantry fighting vehicles, and M113 armored personnel carriers, were brought to Lithuania via the port of Klaipeda last week.
The battlegroup also includes over 450 German, 100 Belgian and 250 Dutch troops.
In 2017-2018, the battlegroup will be manned by Germany, framework nation, and Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, and France.
NATO is reinforcing its presence on the Alliance’s eastern flank by deploying four battlegroups in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland on a rotational basis.