WARSAW, Poland — The Polish defense minister has welcomed a multinational NATO battalion to Poland made up of troops from the United States, Britain and Romania, saying the deployment improves the region's security given the "threat from the East."

Antoni Macierewicz welcomed the U.S.-led battalion in a ceremony Tuesday in the central town of Piotrkow Trybunalski.

The deployment fulfills a NATO pledge to enhance security on the alliance's eastern flank, amid the region's fears over Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its support for insurgents in eastern Ukraine.

The NATO commitment involves the deployment of four battalions of about 1,000 troops each to Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, each led by a different NATO country.

It is separate from a 3,500-strong U.S. armored brigade that also deployed to Poland earlier this year.

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