A US-led battle group of 1,350 soldiers for NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in Eastern Europe has arrived at its base near Orzysz in northeastern Poland.
The American, British, and Romanian soldiers, who are “fully prepared to deter Russian offensive actions,” as US Colonel Patrick Ellis put it at the group’s departure ceremony a little more than a week ago, have been sent to Poland from a base in Germany.
“I think the nations of NATO, they’ve decided that [there’s] at least a threat to be deterred. By any means this is not an aggressive move, this is just a deterrence,” US Army Lt. Col. Steven Gventer, the battle group’s commander, said upon arrival at Orzysz.
“They’ve decided it is a prudent move to ensure that there’s at least a collective capability and a collective defense along our Eastern flank. We’re not here to antagonize, we’re here strictly to make sure that our borders of the NATO alliance are not incurred upon by an aggressor,” Gventer stated further.
The deployment was announced by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his first visit to an alliance ministerial on Friday, where he said that NATO is “fundamental to countering both non-violent, but at times violent, Russian agitation and Russian aggression.”