Home / News /
‘Army go, home!’: US military convoy confronted by more protests returning to German base
Published time: April 01, 2015 21:40
Edited time: April 03, 2015 07:37
Get short URL
Soldiers of the U.S. Army 3rd squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment as the troops of the „Dragoon Ride“ military exercise arrive at their home base at Rose Barracks in Vilseck April 1, 2015.(Reuters / Michael Dalder)
Download video (15.77 MB)
Baltic states, EU, Germany, Military, Politics, USA
A US military convoy has completed its grand tour across Eastern Europe with over a hundred armored vehicles greeted by anti-war protesters at the gates of their base in the German city of Vilseck.
Since March 21, around 120 vehicles, mainly Stryker AFVs – which took part in the Baltic drills near the Russian border – drove 1770 kilometers through Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia and the Czech Republic.
The US military said that it was their longest road march across the territory of Europe since World War II.
It has been more than just a road-show, with aircraft involved in the war games, circling above the convoy in the skies.
US military commanders opted for a parade across the region instead of the more-traditional railway option, in order to show Washington’s support and commitment to its Eastern European allies.
According to Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the US Army Europe commander, it was important for the American military to show that it “can move a lot of capability a long distance” after Russia relocated thousands of its troops during a massive domestic drill earlier in March.
The exercise, entitled the ‘Dragoon Ride’ after the nickname of the involved US Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment, saw the convoy stop in a new city every night, organizing different military-related activities for the locals in order to win their support.
“We were pleasantly surprised,” Col. John V. Meyer, 2nd Cavalry Regiment’s commander, told Stars and Stripes website. “Every overpass on all the autobahns all the way back were lined with people flying their country’s flag and the US flag. It was truly amazing, the turnout and the support. I think it really shows how those countries view the United States.”
However, not everybody felt the party spirit along the way, saying that it’s uncomfortable seeing American armored vehicles rolling through their cities and towns.
The convoy was also greeted by dozens of demonstrators as it returned to its German base on Wednesday.
The people held banners, reading “Peace,” “Tanks? No thanks!” and “Army, go home! No one misses you!”