US troops in Lithuania shift from deterrence to combat mode
US troops will continue to be stationed in Lithuania at least until 2025 on a rotational basis.
Lithuania's Chief of Defense Lt. Gen. Valdemaras Rupsys said on Friday that American troops stationed in Lithuania have shifted from deterrence to combat mode in light of the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.
"Earlier, the key factor was deterrence... Then, there were forces that were mainly responsible for training us, getting familiar with the place, conducting tactical tasks. And now, when the situation has changed, those troops and equipment are deployed so that they could be used in a fight immediately," Rupsys told Lithuanian National Radio and Television.
The Lieutenant claimed that the growing presence of US military forces across the European continent is an outcome of the current situation and "enemy threats" and does not imply that US forces are switching to active defense.
US troops will continue to be stationed in Lithuania at least until 2025 on a rotational basis, Lieutenant Rupsys added.
According to the US Department of Defense, since February 2022, the US DoD deployed or extended over 20,000 additional forces to Europe in response to the conflict in Ukraine, with additional air, land, maritime, cyber, and space capabilities, which amounts to a total of 100,000 service members across Europe.
On November 29, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that NATO will reinforce its presence from the Black to the Baltic seas.
As of today, there is an estimated 750 US military bases across the European continent, according to The Soldier Project.
On November 27, mass protests took place in the Czech Republic due to the government's aid to Ukraine and the presence of US military bases in Europe.
Czechs protest govt.'s aid to Ukraine, US bases in Europe pic.twitter.com/IJBF4OXaVp— S-War Journal (@SWarJournal9) November 27, 2022
The US has currently set up a repair station in Poland to fix Ukraine's damaged or overused weapons.