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The first American troops arrived in Poland on Wednesday, after Washington said it was sending a force of 600 there and to the Baltic states amid rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine.Some 130 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade -- nicknamed "Sky Soldiers" -- touched down early afternoon in Swidwin, in the northwest of the country, and were welcomed by Poland's defence minister.The troops, who are usually based in Vicenza, Italy, arrived at the base on two Hercules transport planes.A further 450 US troops will be deployed in the next few days in the ex-Soviet Baltic states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, following Washington's announcement Tuesday that it would increase its presence in the region to reassure its NATO "allies and partners". US troops are due to carry out military exercises in the region for the rest of the year.Kirby said the Poland exercises are "bilateral" US operations and not NATO exercises, although he said there was no reluctance by other alliance members to send ground troops to countries bordering Russia.
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