WASHINGTON — The Pentagon will place approximately 250 tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and self-propelled howitzers throughout six countries that are close to Russia, the department announced Tuesday.
Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, along with Germany, will have company- to battalion-sized equipment sets located inside their territory under the new plan, dubbed the European Activity Set.
The gear is earmarked for use in training exercises, but it is hard to ignore the choice of nations to receive the equipment. With the exception of Germany, they are all nations close to Russia, many of whom have expressed concern that the government of Vladimir Putin is looking to expand its regional control.
The US has been using training exercises to reassure NATO allies since Russia’s invasion of Ukrainian territory in February 2014.
Having the gear in place for future training exercises makes logistics easier, said Maj. James Brindle, Pentagon spokesman.