In historic first, Germany deploys brigade in Lithuania to deter Russian aggression
Illustrative photo: Facebook Die Bundeswehr in Bayern

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and his Lithuanian counterpart Arvydas Anušauskas signed a roadmap in Vilnius for the deployment of a German Army (Bundeswehr) brigade in Lithuania. Some 5,000 personnel will be permanently stationed in the country from 2025, marking the first such large-scale deployment for the Bundeswehr, reported the German Ministry of Defense.

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The move is intended to signal solidarity with NATO partners and contribute to the Alliance's efforts to deter Russia and protect NATO territory. The creation of the brigade in Lithuania is a flagship project that stems from a pivotal moment in security policy, prompted by Russia's aggressive actions against Ukraine. This ambitious project involves the permanent deployment of a significant number of Bundeswehr soldiers and civilians abroad, which is unprecedented in German military history, according to the Ministry of Defense.

Pistorius previously announced the brigade's deployment in June 2023, and now, six months later, the roadmap for the project has been signed.

The German Army notes that the brigade will consist of approximately 4,800 soldiers and 200 civilian personnel.

They will be stationed in the towns of Rudninkai and Rukla, near the two major cities of Vilnius and Kaunas. The decree is expected to be signed this year, the Bundeswehr said.

According to the agreements, Lithuania is provides military and civilian infrastructure for this brigade: some of it is new, some of it is modernized; depending on the progress of construction, the brigade will be gradually expanded.

The brigade is expected to reach full operational capability by the end of 2027. It is designed as a heavy brigade and will be led by the 2025th Division of the German Army. The brigade will include the 122nd Armored Grenadier Battalion, the 203rd Armored Grenadier Battalion, and a multinational battalion as an extension of the Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group.

In addition, the brigade will include combat, command and operational support units and elements. The Bundeswehr administration will have its own diplomatic office, the ministry said.

There are plans for housing for accompanying family members of the personnel, as well as child care facilities and schools in the Lithuanian cities of Kaunas and Vilnius.