VILNIUS, Lithuania -- Lithuania's defense minister says more than 500 U.S. soldiers are set to arrive in the Baltic nation next month to help strengthen NATO's position against Russia's military presence in the region.
Raimundas Karoblis said the battalion-sized unit equipped with tanks and other military vehicles is being deployed as part of a U.S. initiative that keeps 6,000 troops on 9-month rotations in Europe.
Karoblis called the deployment in Lithuania "good and awaited news" and U.S. troops "a vital factor of deterrence."
The unit from the U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas, will replace one from the 1st Infantry Division based at Fort Riley, Kansas.
Soldiers assigned to the Defense Department's operation Atlantic Resolve conduct training exercises across 17 nations.