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News archive (2005 - 01)

Commander of the Lithuanian Armed Forces to attend traditional meeting of Nordic and Baltic Chiefs of Defence
Artillery Battalion project successfully completed

On Thursday, 20 January, a closing ceremony to mark a successful completion of the LITART (Lithuanian Artillery) project will be held at the Central Training Area of the Lithuanian Armed Forces at Pabradė.


Under a joint Lithuanian-Danish project, LITART, the General Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion, equipped with 105mm howitzers, was founded in December 2000. The Danish Armed Forces provided material and methodical assistance in the founding of the artillery unit. In the autumn of 2002, the Danish Armed Forces donated armaments, technical equipment, modern surveillance devices, navigation systems, most advanced computer equipment and ammunition to the Artillery Battalion.

Lithuanian logistic unit to serve within NATO Reaction Force

On 15 January a water purification unit of the Lithuanian Armed Forces is due to start a mission in the NATO Reaction Force (NRF). The unit consists of water purification equipment and 10 support personnel. If required, the unit will be able to deploy within 1-2 days.

Units assigned as part of the NRF serve within their respective nation. After a decision to dispatch troops to a crisis region has been made, troops will reach their place of operation within 5 to 30 days. The NRF will be activated by a decision from the North Atlantic Alliance. From that moment troops will fall under the subordination of the NATO headquarters commanding the operation.

A Lithuanian water purification unit belongs to the Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytenis General Logistic Support Battalion. The water purification equipment is capable of cleaning 100 cubic metres of sea, swamp or dirty water and making it potable for drinking within 24 hours. While on a military operation, the unit will perform within the composition of a Dutch Engineering Battalion.


Commander of the Lithuanian Armed Forces to pay an official visit to the Czech Republic

On 17-18 January Commander of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, Major General Valdas Tutkus, will be with an official visit to the Czech Republic.

The visit's agenda includes meetings with the Czech Minister of Defence, Karel Kuhnl, Commander of the Czech Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Pavel Štefka, Chairman of the Parliamentary Defence and Security Committee, Jan Vidim.

The meetings will focus on issues covering EU Battle Groups, NATO Reaction Force, participation in international operations, co-operation of the countries in the field of defence.

Representatives of the Lithuanian National Defence Ministry to attend seminar, entitled " Review of Strategic Defence"

On 13-14 January, in Riga, Latvia, a seminar of Review of Strategic Defence will be held to governmental institutions of the Baltic States. The seminar will also be attended by a delegation of the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence. At the seminar, a report, entitled "Adapting Defence Establishment to Meet New Challenges" will be delivered by Director of Defence Policy and Planning, Dr Vaidotas Urbelis.

Leadership of Algirdas Battalion to meet with relatives of soldiers who are on a mission in Iraq

On Friday, 14 January a meeting of the Algirdas Battalion leadership with relatives of troops LITCON–4 who are currently serving in Iraq will take place at the Rukla-based battalion's headquarters. The platoon has been attending the mission in Iraq since last summer.

The Algirdas Battalion maintains a nice tradition of meetings with relatives of soldiers serving in far-away missions. During the meeting on Friday, the Battalion commanders will tell the relatives of soldiers about the mission, share the latest news and answer the questions. A video film about Lithuanian mission in Iraq will be shown to the visitors.


Currently, over 100 Lithuania troops serve in Iraq. More than 50 troops of the Algirdas Battalion serve within the composition of the Danish brigade in the area near the city of Al Kurna in the British-controlled sector of responsibility.

British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans to pay visit to Lithuania

On 12-13 January British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans, Ivor Caplin, will be with a two-day visit to Lithuania.

Th agenda for the first day of the visit includes a visit to Zokniai, where the high-ranking official will attend a rotation ceremony of NATO forces involved in the accomplishment of air-policing functions in the Baltic States. Upon completing the air-policing mission in Lithuania, British troops will be replaced by their Norwegian counterparts.

Minister of National Defence Gediminas Kirkilas to meet with the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe

On Tuesday, 11 January Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) General James L. Jones will be with a short visit to Vilnius.

At the Presidential Palace of the Republic of Lithuania the Supreme Allied Commander Europe General James L. Jones will be awarded the Cross of Commander of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas. 

Baltic air policing mission to be taken over by Norwegians

On Wednesday, 12 January F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters of the Norwegian Royal Air Force will land at the Zokniai Air Base to undertake Baltic air-policing mission in Lithuania. Two out of four F-16 fighters, which will replace British F-3 Tornado fighters that have been safeguarding the Baltic airspace since November 2004, are scheduled to land at the Zokniai base of the Lithuanian Air Force that same day. The first two Norwegian fighters are expected to arrive in Lithuania on 10 January.


The ceremony of hand over of the mission will be attended by Under Secretary of the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence, Renatas Norkus, British Parliamentary Under Secreatry of State for Defence Ivor Caplin, British Ambassador to Lithuania, HE Colin Roberts,  Norwegian Ambassador to Lithuania, HE KĆre Hauge, Commander of the Norwegian Royal Air Force, Major General Arnvid Brage Lųvbukten, Commander of the Lithuanian Air Force, Colonel Jonas Marcinkus, Acting Chief of Defence Staff of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, Lieutenant Colonel, Gintautas Zenkevicius, and Mayor of Siauliai city, Mr Vytautas Juskus.


Norway has been contributing to the Baltic air-policing mission since Lithuania, Latvia and

Lithuania to boost its military contingent in Afghanistan

Lithuania is to boost its military contingent in Afghanistan, which is trying to overcome post-war difficulties -- a group of riflemen and drivers is scheduled to be sent to a NATO-led mission in the Central Asian country, which is being expanded.

Defence Minister Gediminas Kirkilas has told BNS that a political decision to send troops to the United Nations Security Council-sanctioned International Security Assistance Force led by NATO, which is being expanded in the territory of Afghanistan, is currently being arranged.

"The tasks of the mission are currently formulated by the Alliance, we are arranging a political decision for that," Kirkilas has said.

BNS News Agency information

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