The United States plans to store heavy military equipment in the Baltics and Eastern European nations to reassure allies unnerved by Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and to deter further aggression, U.S. officials said.
The move would be the first time Washington has stationed heavy military equipment in the newer NATO member states that were once in the Soviet sphere of influence or – in the case of the three Baltic republics – part of the Soviet Union.
Though no final decision has been taken, the Pentagon is poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for as many as 5,000 troops, one U.S. official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
The official said the proposal envisages storing a company’s worth of equipment, enough for 150 soldiers, in each of the three Baltic nations: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Enough equipment for a company or possibly a battalion, or about 750 soldiers, would also be located in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and possibly Hungary.