Hundreds of German soldiers prepare to deploy to Baltics for NATO

DW – January 19, 2017

Hundreds of German soldiers were preparing Thursday to deploy the Baltics as part of a force organized by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Five hundred soldiers assembled near the Bavarian town of Oberviechtach for a farewell ceremony with 450 soldiers coming from the Bundeswehr and the remainder from Belgium and the Netherlands.

In the coming weeks the Panzergrenadier 122 battalion soldiers would be deployed to the former Soviet republic Lithunia to deter Russia from military actions.

“In the past few months, we have undergone a highly intensive training,” said Christoph Huber, commander of the Panzergrenadiere.

He said the soldiers were looking forward to the “great task”.

26 tanks and 170 other military vehicles, including Marder armored vehicles and Leopard 2 tanks, would be stationed alongside the NATO force, some just 100 kilometers away from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

The troops would form part of a NATO force to deter Russia by deploying combat battalions in the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as in Poland.