Hundreds of U.S. tanks and other weaponry arrived by ship in Germany on January 6, the first wave of equipment to be deployed to Eastern Europe as part of NATO’s push to beef up its presence in the region.
The equipment is set to be transported by rail and convoy to staging sites in Poland ahead of the arrival of U.S. military units to Eastern Europe.
Beginning next month, the American units and equipment will fan out across NATO members Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Baltic states for training and maintenance.
The moves are aimed at reassuring U.S. allies following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and its backing of armed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Russia has condemned what it sees as an aggressive Western buildup in in the region, accusing NATO of destabilizing actions and stoking tensions near Russia’s borders.
NATO insists the moves are strictly defensive in nature.
"The best way to maintain the peace is through preparation," U.S. Major General Timothy McGuire told reporters when asked if the action was intended to send a message to Russia.