Mehr Soldatinnen und Soldaten für EFP

Reinforcements for Lithuania arrive in Jägerbrück

Reinforcements for Lithuania arrive in Jägerbrück

Reading time:

The first soldiers to be added to forces already stationed in Lithuania arrived in Jägerbrück in the evening hours of 14 February. The training area there is serving as one of several staging areas for the reinforcements of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) battle group, which is led by Germany.

A military vehicle with a NATO symbol at the side window, another vehicle blurry in the background

The staging area near Jägerbrück is one of several staging areas close to the Polish border. The first vehicles of the Enhanced Forward Presence reinforcements arrive here on the evening of 14 February.

Bundeswehr/Mario Bähr

At around 6:30 pm, the first major column formations rolled into Greifen Barracks at Jägerbrück training area. This staging area near the communities of Torgelow, Eggesin and Viereck is located close to the Polish border. Soldiers from 325 Artillery Support Battalion in Munster and 3 Reconnaissance Support Battalion in Lüneburg form the core of these reinforcements. After having left their battalions, Jägerbrück was the first station on their way to the Baltics.

A truck driving through a barracks gate.

Soldiers from 325 Artillery Support Battalion in Munster, Lower-Saxony, are among the first to arrive in Jägerbrück.

Bundeswehr/Mario Bähr

“We have been driving for more than ten hours”, one of the soldiers from Munster in Lower Saxony said upon arrival. A number of tasks awaited the soldiers. “The focus is on maintaining the movement of the forces, the morale of the soldiers, and sustainability of their equipment,” an official in charge of the organisation in the staging area explained. The vehicles needed refueling and the troops needed both food and enough sleep before continuing on the long trip to Lithuania. In addition, smaller groups were combined to form larger vehicle convoys. The forces will move through Poland by road with several enroute stops and will continue to Lithuania.

Two combat vehicles are refueled at a military filling station in the dark.

The vehicles are refueled at the staging area before starting their trip of over 1600 kilometres. It will not be the last time they are refueled.

Bundeswehr/Mario Bähr

“It is great to have completed this first leg, although we still have the majority of the route ahead of us”, Corporal Nikolas Neumann* explained. The mission to deploy to Lithuania as fast as possible was an enormous personal challenge, the young driver said. He added that the soldiers felt part of a team, however, and they had confidence in their equipment, vehicles and weapon systems. Neumann had to refuel his vehicle at around 10 pm. And there was more for him and his comrades to do this night. More and more vehicles kept rolling into Jägerbrück until late in the night. In total, around 70 of them would arrive.

A soldier wearing protective gear sprays a combat vehicle with disinfectant solution.

Before they continue on their route, the combat vehicles are disinfected to prevent the spread of epizootic germs.

Bundeswehr/Mario Bähr

All vehicles being deployed to Lithuania had to undergo epizootic disease prevention measures at the staging area. Sergeant Markus Schmidt* from 7 CBRNchemical, biological, radiological, nuclear Defence Battalion in Höxter saw to all vehicles at his station. “We don’t give germs a chance”, Schmidt explained. All vehicles were thoroughly cleaned by CBRNchemical, biological, radiological, nuclear personnel and then sprayed with disinfectant. “This solution, which most people know as formic acid, prevents germs from being spread by wheels, wheel housings, or tracks along movement routes”, the sergeant continued.

After completion of this last measure, the reinforcements were given time to rest.

*Names changed

by René Hinz