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Jul 11, 5:23 AM EDT

Patriot missiles deployed in NATO exercises in Baltics


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Patriot missiles deployed in NATO exercises in Baltics

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VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) -- Lithuania's Defense Ministry says that long-range Patriot missiles are being deployed for the first time in NATO military exercises in the Baltic republics.

The Tobruq Legacy 2017 drill, which began Tuesday, involves troops and air defense systems from five NATO countries, including Britain, the U.S., Latvia, and Poland.

The ministry says the deployment "demonstrates the steadfast U.S. commitment to the security of Lithuania and its high readiness to send strategic capabilities" to the Baltic Sea region.

Lithuania, which borders the Kaliningrad exclave, the home of the Russian Baltic fleet, has deep concerns about Moscow's military muscle in the area.

NATO allies are deploying some 4,000 troops in the three Baltic states and Poland to counter Russia's presence in the area. The drill runs through July 22.

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