Latvia welcomes U.S. troops and tanks taking part in a cross-Baltic NATO training mission. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
The. U.S. "Ironhorse" Armored Cavalry on the ground in Latvia. U.S. troops and tanks are deploying across three Baltic states and Poland in the next two weeks on a mission designed to deliver an unmistakable message of NATO resolve to Moscow. (SOUNDBITE) (English) COMMANDER OF 1ST BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM OF 1ST CAVALRY DIVISION, JOHN DI GIAMBATTISTA SAYING: "This is more than just a training mission. This is more than just a trip across the Atlantic, this is more than a multinational training exercise. This is how we demonstrate our nations' commitment to reassure our NATO allies." This is one of the most formidable U.S. military forces to be sent onto former Soviet soil, and is a welcome sign in Latvia. (SOUNDBITE) (Latvian) COMMANDER OF LATVIAN INFANTRY BRIGADE, MARTINS LIBERTS SAYING: "To be honest, since independence, we have not had the chance to work with tanks as allies, but we will do that now. It will be a unique experience." The U.S. military says it is the first time it has had to ship armored reinforcements to Europe since the end of the Cold War.