The thousands of troops, military equipment and hardware is seen as a pre-emptive strike
Operation Atlantic Resolve was billed as a show of strength from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies against rising aggression from Moscow to its eastern neighbours.
But it has already run into embarrassing difficulties just days into the exercise.
Lieutenant general Ben Hodges, commander of US Army forces in Europe, revealed a blunder has led some tanks turning up on the continent with dead batteries and empty fuel tanks.
It emerged a contractor forgot the procedure to shut down the tanks before they began their journey, leaving them virtually powerless when they reached their destination.
The former Soviet nations have been anticipating a strike from Moscow
Gen Hodges said: “It is stuff we used to know.”
Some five heavy vehicles have remained at the German port of Bremerhaven as the US strategises how to move them east.
The gaffe comes as the highly anticipated operation, launched earlier this month, will eventually see nearly 4,000 NATO troops and 2,000 tanks deployed at the Russian border.
The US soldiers – from the 3rd Armoured Combat Brigade Team of the 4th Infantry Division – have been deployed as part of troop rotations around Europe.
Moscow is preparing for the possibility
The convoy is partially made up of 3,500 US personnel and thousands of tanks, including paladins and Bradley Fighting Vehicles, which is making its way across Europe to seven locations in Poland after arriving in Germany.
But Gen Hodges said more problems have arisen as the US army lacks sufficient information about infrastructure in the former Soviet nations, which now falls under NATO protection.
The build-up of troops comes as NATO looks to reassure its eastern allies that it is ready to defend them from the growing threat from Russia.
The build-up of troops comes as NATO looks to reassure its eastern allies
The former Soviet nations have been anticipating a strike from Moscow since the Kremlin annexed Crimea in 2014, following a bloody conflict in Ukraine which led to the prime minister being ousted.
In response, president Vladimir Putin has been amassing troops at the EU’s border at Ukraine furthering inflaming tensions with NATO.
Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said: "We see it as a threat to us. This is an action that threatens our interests, our security; moreover, this is a third nation (apart from Russia and Poland) that is increasing its military presence near our borders in Europe, and it's not even a European nation.”
EXPLOSIVE: American tanks FIRE towards Russia
Fri, January 20, 2017
Heavily-armed US military personnel were rushed to Poland’s border with Russia to warn Vladimir Putin against another Ukrainian-style land grab.
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A round is fired from an M1A2 Main Battle Tank belonging to 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division during the first Live Fire Accuracy Screening Tests at Presidential Range in Swietozow, Poland
A sign of the US reaffirming commitments to the Baltics, as well as beefing up its land, sea and air capabilities in Europe, the thousands of troops, military equipment and hardware is seen as a pre-emptive strike against Moscow.
Gen Hodges added: “This does not mean that there necessarily has to be a war, none of this is inevitable, but Moscow is preparing for the possibility.”
The UK is also sending resources to eastern Europe to aid in the operation, quelling calls that NATO was turning its back on its obligations to its partners.
Operation Atlantic Resolve was billed as a show of strength from NATO
And it has been met with gratitude in Poland, with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo welcoming the American troops, saying: "It's a great day today when we can welcome, here in Zagan, American soldiers who represent the best, the greatest army in the world.”
But the future the US’s commitment to the organisation has been called into question after president Trump seemed to suggest downplaying their role going forwards.
And the new president has indicated a new direction when dealing with Russia, possibly heralding a thawing in relations between the two superpowers.