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6 Jun, 2016 01:26

US forces rumble across Lithuania to large-scale Baltic NATO drills (VIDEO)

US forces rumble across Lithuania to large-scale Baltic NATO drills (VIDEO)

A newly released video shows US armed forces marching through Lithuanian territory as they take part in “Dragoon Ride II,” a tactical march taking place ahead of NATO’s massive annual military drills that will be conducted in the Baltic States this year.

In the video, columns of US military vehicles, including Stryker M1126 Infantry Carriers and M1128 Mobile Gun Systems equipped with 105mm cannons, can be seen moving along the streets of Lithuanian cities.

Military columns consisting of 10-20 vehicles rumbled along the route from the city of Kalvarija to the city of Panevezys throughout the day, Lithuanian Defense Ministry said.

In the second part of the video, US military vehicles are seen parked near a shopping mall in Panevezys, as US soldiers show the vehicles, weapons, and equipment to locals.

Dragoon Ride II is a “2,200-kilometer [1,370-mile] tactical road march from the town of Vilseck, Germany to Estonia” that is being conducted from May 27 to June 15 ahead of the annual drills, according to the US army’s official website. 

Its purpose is to “demonstrate a dynamic presence throughout the region by showcasing freedom of movement,” the statement on the website says.

The demonstration of military might features “1,400 Soldiers and 400 vehicles stopping in several cities to host public displays of their equipment along with their Allied counterparts.”

The march is being held in the run up to “Saber Strike 16,” a US-led multinational exercise that has been held annually in the EU since 2011. This year’s exercises will take place in the Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – from May 30 to June 22.

Nearly 10,000 service members from 13 states are to participate in the drills. Apart from major NATO forces and those of the host countries, troops and military equipment from Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, and the UK will also take part.