VILNIUS, Lithuania -- NATO will open the first Baltic regional headquarters for its new rapid reaction force in Lithuania in the coming months, amid growing concerns over Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Lithuanian Defense Minister Juozas Olekas says this will increase quick communication between national and alliance troops in the region. The unit will be staffed by 40 people.
The head of the unit, Danish Col. J.S. Larsen, said Thursday the headquarters could coordinate operations of a division-sized unit "in case there is a need."
Similar small headquarters, to facilitate the rapid deployment of troops, are planned in Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, as well as in neighboring Latvia and Estonia, in line with decisions made at the NATO Wales summit last year to increase the alliance's presence in the Baltic countries.