New NATO Forces to Be Deployed in Baltic Region by May 2017

Estonian Scout with a Carl Gustav anti tank gun. May 11, 2015The new allied deterrent force for the Baltic region will be in place by May 2017, with some units arriving earlier, the head of the Western alliance’s military committee said Sunday….

Czech Army Gen. Petr Pavel, who leads the NATO military committee, said the battle groups will be arriving at different times in the first half of 2017. The U.S. force, of about 1,000 soldiers, will come from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment based in Vilseck, Germany, and is due to arrive in Poland by April, U.S. officials said….

In Croatia, the NATO chiefs of defense—including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford—discussed the rules of engagement the force would operate under. The rules will differ by each country, reflecting differences in the situation and agreements with the host nations.

While Gen. Pavel wouldn’t outline the rules, he said they would be altered from those the current international forces in the region are operating under, designed to allow the new NATO forces to move from a peacetime footing to a crisis situation rapidly.

“With these four battle groups, we are not talking about exclusively about a training presence,” he said. “This force is to serve as a deterrent and if necessary as a fighting force. The rules will be different.”

Image: Estonian Scout with a Carl Gustav anti tank gun. May 11, 2015 (photo: NATO)