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Additional US Forces Arrive in Lithuania, US Battalion Rotation Extended

INTERNATIONAL: Additional US forces have arrived in Lithuania in response to Russia's military action in Ukraine, and the rotation of the US 3-66 Armor battalion's rotation has been extended, Lithuania's Ministry of Defence said.

Moreover, the United States' F35 fighter jets have landed in Lithuania's Šiauliai.

"That's an adequate US reaction to Russia's war in our neighbourhood. The military presence of the US and other allies in the Baltic states and Poland is a key regional deterrence factor. We have always said that American military presence in Lithuania should be permanent," Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas has said.

The incoming F35 fighter jets in Šiauliai will bolster the NATO air policing mission in the Baltic states, currently being performed by Polish, Danish and Belgium air forces. The F35s will boost the mission from the Amari Air Base in Estonia.

The US also sent additional capabilities to Latvia: an infantry battalion and 20 Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters.

The US president underlined the move was purely "defensive".



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