Germany Begins Deploying Troops for First Time since World War II

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Germany Begins Deploying Troops for First Time since World War II

Germany will deploy its first permanent foreign deployment since World War II following a new agreement with Lithuania.

The announcement was made on Monday in Lithuania, where Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas met Boris Pistoriusto to outline a “Roadmap Action Plan” involving 4,800 permanently stationed German soldiers.

The new move was described as “historical” for both nations and NATO.

German troops will be stationed in the Lithuanian cities of Kaunas and Vilnius in early 2024, with the majority of troops being deployed in 2025 and 2026 and full-operation capability expected by 2027.

Meanwhile, Lithuania committed to providing all necessary civilian and military infrastructure.

“The German commitment of permanently stationing a brigade in Lithuania is a historical step for both Germany and Lithuania,” Anusauskas said Monday, according to a press release.

“We are turning over to a page of even deeper strategic partnership.

“The German Brigade will significantly increase our defensive potential and enhance NATO deterrence and collective defense. The Roadmap signed today lays out in detail the track we and Germany will take to implement it.”

Pistorius noted the step as being positive for defense relations, considering the war between Ukraine and Russia,

“Germany understands clearly the new state of affairs in security politics: we are taking the role of leadership and responsibility in the [NATO] Alliance as we deploy a combat brigade in Lithuania,” Pistorius said in the release.

“We will ensure reliable deterrence, and we will be ready to [defend] NATO. We are sending a clear signal with this step to those who present a threat to peace and security in Europe.”

Newsweek reported that experts within the two defense ministries formulated the plan:

“Most of the German troops will be stationed in the territory of Rūdninkai military training ground, while the rest will be deployed in the town of Rukla, where some 1,000 allied troops already reside.”

Logistical hubs will cater to the new brigade, including three maneuver battalions and combat support and supply units formed by new and existing units.

“The 203rd Panzer Battalion, based in North Rhine-Westphalia, and the 122nd Armored Infantry Battalion, based in Bavaria, will be moved to Lithuania. Lithuania’s enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group will be transformed into a multinational battalion to become “an integral part of the brigade,” the release said.

The head of the parliamentary National Security and Defense Committee, Laurynas Kasciunas, said the country would allocate 0.3 percent of its gross domestic product to help fund the deployment and to build housing.

Earlier this year, Germany faced pressure from the US to provide Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

“The eastern flank has now moved to the east, and it’s the duty of Germany to protect it,” Pistorius said Monday during a joint press conference,” Reuters reported.

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