Europe

German troops, tanks on way to Lithuania for NATO mission

  • Military vehicles are being loaded on a transport train in Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. As part of the NATO program 'enhanced forward presence' 450 soldiers will move to Rukla in Lithuania in the upcoming weeks. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    Military vehicles are being loaded on a transport train in Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. As part of the NATO program 'enhanced forward presence' 450 soldiers will move to Rukla in Lithuania in the upcoming weeks. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)  (The Associated Press)

  • Military vehicles are being loaded on a transport train in Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. As part of the NATO program 'enhanced forward presence' 450 soldiers will move to Rukla in Lithuania in the upcoming weeks. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    Military vehicles are being loaded on a transport train in Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. As part of the NATO program 'enhanced forward presence' 450 soldiers will move to Rukla in Lithuania in the upcoming weeks. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)  (The Associated Press)

  • Military vehicles are being loaded on a transport train in Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. As part of the NATO program 'enhanced forward presence' 450 soldiers will move to Rukla in Lithuania in the upcoming weeks. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    Military vehicles are being loaded on a transport train in Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. As part of the NATO program 'enhanced forward presence' 450 soldiers will move to Rukla in Lithuania in the upcoming weeks. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)  (The Associated Press)

German troops and tanks are en route to central Lithuania as part of NATO's move to enhance its presence in the alliance's easternmost countries as a deterrent against Russian aggression.

The German military said Tuesday that 36 vehicles, including Boxer armored fighting vehicles, were being loaded on a train in Bavaria for the trip to Rukla.

Germany will be leading the NATO battlegroup in Lithuania. Its contingent also consists of some 450 troops and other equipment, including Leopard 2 main battle tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles.

The complete unit will consist of more than 1,000 soldiers, including troops from the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and Luxembourg.

Battlegroups led by the U.S., Canada and Britain are also being stationed in Poland, Latvia and Estonia respectively as part of NATO's mission.