The port facility in Klaipėda, Lithuania is serving as a vital transportation and movement location in support of Atlantic Resolve rotational forces throughout the months of June and July 2021. The 598th Transportation Brigade, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command and the 21st Theater Sustainment Command offloaded more than 300 equipment items at the port on Tuesday, July 13 as elements of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division began arriving from Fort Riley, Kansas. In addition, the 598th and 21st TSC teams are preparing to upload equipment belonging to the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division as it returns to Fort Hood, Texas, following completion of its highly successful Atlantic Resolve rotation.
“We’re here in Klaipėda, Lithuania at the port, where we’ve received the vessel Liberty Peace with equipment from the 3-66 Armored Battalion, 1st ABCT, 1st ID and we’re now enabling its discharge,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ron A. Barker, Mobility Officer, 838th Transportation Battalion, 598th TBDE. “We work closely with our partners at the port as well as the local Lithuanian military security forces and logisticians. We’ll stage the equipment and ready it for onward movement to forward sites in Lithuania. We’ll also redeploy the 2-8 CAV Battalion, 1st ABCT, 1st CD using the same vessel and they will return to the U.S. and become a potential enabler for future Army missions.”
The ability to execute simultaneous equipment deployment and redeployment operations demonstrates the capabilities of this strategically located port.
“Importing and exporting equipment from two different units at the same port is challenging,” added Barker. “However it’s also a great opportunity for the Army and our Lithuanian partners to increase our interoperability and enhance what is already an excellent partnership.”
The 1st ABCT is deploying for this Atlantic Resolve iteration with approximately 3,800 Soldiers, 80 tanks, 120 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 10 Bradley (Variant) Fire Support Team vehicles, 15 Paladins, 500 tracked vehicles, 850 trailers and 1500 wheeled vehicles and other pieces of equipment. The 1st ABCT’s equipment is arriving at ports located in Gdansk and Gdynia, Poland and Alexandroupoli, Greece, in addition to the port in Klaipėda.
“The ability to deploy through multiple ports all across the European theater is a critical contributor to readiness both for the Army and for commanders in the region,” said Barker.
Following months of preparation, the arriving 3-66 soldiers were ready to move forward and begin training with their NATO allies and partners.
“The operations here at the port and during the first couple of months in theater are truly a great representation of the teamwork between us and the Lithuanian armed forces,” said Maj. Nathaniel P. Dams, Executive Officer, 3-66 AR BN. “We’ve been training and looking forward to this for the last 9-12 months and we’re definitely excited to be here.”
The 3-66 AR BN’s equipment will now move by rail and commercial line haul to its final destinations at locations in Lithuania and throughout the eastern and central Europe.
All movements of personnel and equipment will be conducted while adhering to the prevention and protection guidance directed by the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Centers for Disease Control, host nation governments, and local authorities to proactively mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The health, safety, and security of U.S. personnel and U.S. allies, partners, and local populations is a DOD priority.