Retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, former commander of U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR), said in Vilnius on Wednesday that rotational American troops should be returned to the Baltic states.
According to Hodges, following the stationing of NATO land forces battalions in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the U.S. could contribute by sending logistics and air defense units to the Baltics.
"I think a full-time logistics capability and also a full-time air defense capability, using rotational forces, would be a useful way to increase capability for deterrence," Hodges told journalists in the Lithuanian capital. "Also, it would put US soldiers in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania full-time."
Companies of U.S. troops had been rotated in the Baltic states since 2014 in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine. They were withdrawn, however, after the deployment of multinational NATO battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland last year.
U.S. troops now come to the Baltic states for training primarily from Poland.
Editor: Aili Vahtla