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First Anniversary of NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Lithuania Will be Marked

01/30/2018
First Anniversary of NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Lithuania Will be Marked

“By deploying enhanced forward presence in the Baltic States and Poland, NATO sends out a very clear message – the collective defence commitment under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty is in place and valid and the Alliance shows solidarity and unity. Thanks to the Lithuanian Armed Forces and our allies here today the people of Lithuania are as secure as they have never been before” Mr. Raimundas Karoblis, Lithuanian Minister of National Defence says. 

On 5 February, an official ceremony will be held at the Jonušas Radvila Training Regiment in Rukla to mark the 1st anniversary of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group presence in Lithuania. To mark the occasion, troops from Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Croatia and France as part of the eFP Battle Group currently deployed in Rukla and Lithuanian platoon will line up on the parade area. The soldiers will be congratulated by high-ranking officials of Lithuania and NATO, defence ministers and chiefs of defence Lithuania and NATO eFP Lithuania contributing nations, ambassadors and defence attachés of foreign countries. 

The ceremony will also involve the change of command of the enhance Forward Presence Battle Group Lithuania. The outgoing officer of the German Armed Forces Lt Col Thorsten Gensler will be replaced by his successor Lt Col Wolf Rüdiger Otto. 

The first troops to deploy on the ground in Lithuania in January 2017 were the allied from Germany, the country leading the NATO eFP Battle Group. They were later joined by other contributing nations’ troops from Belgium, Croatia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Norway. In the beginning of 2018 France also deployed its troops to strengthen capabilities of the NATO eFP Battle Group in Lithuania. 

The NATO eFP Battle Group in Lithuania ensures high level of readiness and interoperability through continuous training and preparation for collective defence. The multinational unit based in Rukla has been integrated into the Lithuanian Armed Forces Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf and takes part in collective training and exercises. 

The deployment of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland is a historical decision adopted by the NATO Heads of State and Government in July 2016. It is primarily a response to the aggressive Russia’s actions in Ukraine as well as Russia’s boost of military capacity in the region. The decision, as part of the overall NATO posture, is an unambiguous demonstration of allied solidarity, resolve and ability to act immediately in responding to any aggression. Establishment of the eFP signals NATO’s solidarity and embodies the concept of reliable deterrence and defence. 

 

Date: 
01/30/2018
Countries: 
Sources of Information: 

Lithuania Ministry of Defence

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