USA military shipment arrives in Germany, ahead of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation exercises

Ships began unloading US tanks, self-propelled howitzers and hundreds of other fighting vehicles Friday in the northern German port of Bremerhaven, to be moved into Eastern Europe to bolster NATO's deterrence against possible Russian aggression.

Thousands of USA troops and a wave of armored vehicles are rumbling into Germany in support of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

For U.S. Army Europe, the arrival of the heavy brigade is a culmination of a steady build up that commenced in the wake of Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula, a move that sparked new security fears in Europe. "But I maintain, the best way to maintain the peace is through preparation and so this is one here where I think everybody should realise, this is transparent and this is just showing the strength and the cohesion of the alliance and the US commitment to maintain the peace on the continent".

In addition to USA troops going to Poland, NATO members Germany, Canada and Britain are also sending battalions of up to 1,000 troops each to the former Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Gen. Timothy McGuire, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Europe.

Russia, meanwhile, has criticized what it sees as an aggressive western buildup in the region.

While U.S. rotational forces have increased, there have been gaps in deployments during the past few years.

In all, the Fort Carson brigade will bring 87 tanks, 18 Paladins; 419 multi-purpose and 144 Bradley Fighting Vehicles; as well as some 2,000 additional vehicles and trailers.

Beginning in February, U.S. military units will spread out across Poland, the Baltic states, Bulgaria, Romania and Germany for training, exercises and maintenance. Germany also plans to send troops and tanks to Lithuania.

Germany's Left party has voiced alarm over the deployment and has urged the government to instead seek closer ties with Russian Federation. "Quite the contrary, a troop deployment of such a scale is part of always increasing buildup and provocation".

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