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    • NATO Destroys Russian Forces Southwest of Kaunas

      Officers and NCOs of 3rd Infantry Division plan operations in Beketov County.  (Photo Credit: 3rdID)

      Following an airborne assault into Beketov County, NATO security forces have virtually destroyed the main body of the Russian armored pincer southwest of Kaunas. In a stunning blow to the Kremlin, US Army Intelligence estimates that Russian casualties exceed one thousand men killed or wounded, and include scores of destroyed vehicles and other equipment.

      On October 2nd, forward elements of NATO Task Force Baltic Knight, including Alpha Company, 1-2, 2 IBCT, 3rd Infantry Division engaged the Russian 1st Guards Tank Army, 27th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade, and Spetsnaz teams near Krasnye Seltsy. Over the course of five weeks of combined arms warfare, NATO forces cut the Russian aggressors down company by company, battalion by battalion.

      NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg lauded the achievements of the allied taskforce. But he cautioned everyone to remember the costs of victory, and the sacrifices made by many in this conflict.

      “The effect on the Lithuanian people has been severe. Six months of war has scarred the landscape with craters and burned out buildings. The sound of gunfire and explosions are part of  life now, but many still flinch at the slightest unexpected noise,” Stoltenberg lamented.

      Doctors at Beketov Municipal Hospital, which was briefly occupied by Russian troops last week, report that they now have more patients than they can physically fit on the premises. Cuts, lacerations, and fractures are the most common complaints. But the surgery and the psychiatric wings are now standing room only.

      The US Army reported that it has destroyed over 15 metric tons of explosive ordnance and ammunition in controlled detonations since entering Beketov County last month. The Lithuanian government also estimates that thousands of landmines and IEDs remain active across a 250 square kilometer area.

      In addition, the United Nations has launched an investigation into alleged war crimes perpetrated by Russian forces in the county. NATO forces located several mass graves in Beketov County in Russian occupied areas. Initial evidence revealed Russian “hit lists” of ethnic Lithuanians and supporters of the government in Vilnius.

      With less than a month before its planned redeployment to Ft. Stewart, 3rdID is working to build lasting stability in the region. This includes mopping up Russian forces and empowering the Lithuanian people to ensure a strong defense against ongoing threats.

      Alpha Company “War Eagles” is scheduled to return home to the US on December 4th.

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