US troops drive in eastern Europe to show defense readiness

AP News
Posted: Mar 29, 2015 10:16 AM

PRAGUE (AP) — A convoy of U.S. troops driving through eastern Europe that opponents threatened to block has entered Czech territory.

In a campaign on Facebook and pro-Russia media, activists condemned the convoy, pledging to stop it. But opponents were clearly outnumbered by those who came to three border crossings Sunday to welcome the troops.

No incidents were reported.

The "Dragoon Ride" convoy started last week from Estonia and passed through Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, before entering the Czech Republic on a return journey to a German base.

The soldiers took part in the Atlantic Resolve exercise intended to demonstrate NATO's readiness to defend its members.

The convoy got a warm welcome in Poland and the Baltics — NATO members worried that the conflict in Ukraine threatens their security.