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NATO and Lithuanian military commanders satisfied with exercise results


The Second Phase of the Lithuanian Land Force Affirmation Exercise, which was held on 6-8 December at the Rukla-based Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion and the Gaižiūnai Training Area, ended on Thursday, 8 December.

A delegation of NATO officers from NATO Component Command Land Headquarters in Heidelberg, which observed and made an assessment of the course of the exercise, was headed by Brigadier General Andre Defawe. The final evaluation in relation to the assessment of readiness of the NATO declared battalion size combat group to execute NATO-led operations would be presented early next year. Therefore, at the end of the exercise, NATO officers presented their opinion on the areas Lithuanian military personnel should focus on in the future.


In summing up the whole process, Brig Gen Defawe praised Lithuanian servicemen's preparedness for the exercise and the very conduct of the training session. During the exercise, the NATO declared Battalion Task Group was given under command of Commander of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Vilmas  Satas. In the Commander's words, the Battalion servicemen had been consistently preparing for the exercise by making advancement of their military knowledge and combat skills.


During the last day of the exercise, which also covered events scheduled for the media and distinguished guests, Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force, Brigadier General Arvydas Pocius, Commander of the Lithuanian Motorised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf Lieutenant, Colonel Darius Užkuraitis, officers from the NATO Component Command Land Headquarters and the Danish Advisors and Training Staff briefed the distinguished visitors on the process of integration of the Lithuanian Armed Forces to NATO military structures.


The exercise closing ceremony was attended by Lithuanian National Defence Vice-Minister Gintaras Sivickas, Danish Ambassador to Lithuania Eva Janson, Commander of the Danish Land Force, Major General Poul Kiaerskou, Lithuanian Chief of Defence, Major General Valdas Tutkus, military representatives of foreign states and other guests.


The Affirmation Exercise is one of the essential processes of integration of the Lithuanian Land Force, while the results of the exercise will be treated as review of interoperability in the general context of NATO member states.


The exercise is organised and led by NATO Component Command Land Force Headquarters in Heidelberg with close assistance of Danish Advisors and Training Staff.


The First Phase of the Affirmation was held on 22-23 September earlier this year in Vilnius and was designed to assess the ability of the Lithuanian Land Force Headquarters to prepare, train, deploy and sustain units in NATO-led operations.










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