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Last shift of Provincial Reconstruction Team comes back from the mission in Afghanistan


On September 11 and 12 the final rotation of the Lithuanian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT-17) returns from the multinational mission in Afghanistan in two portions. The troops will be transported to Šiauliai airport by US partners.


A formal homecoming ceremony of the PRT of Ghor province will be held in the square in front of the Ministry of National Defence on September 20 (a separate announcement will be released).


The PRT-17 headed by Lieutenant Colonel Tomas Masaitis was serving in the province of Ghor, Afghanistan, from May. It was entrusted with an essential task of concluding the activities of the Lithuanian-led PRT mission in Ghor and transferring the lead responsibility for security in the province onto the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).


The core of the final PRT rotation was formed by the military personnel of General Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion.


Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas formally handed over the Lithuanian PRT’s compound in Ghor to the ANSF in Chaghcharan on August 25 thus finalising Lithuania’s largest and the first military mission which it had been running for eight years: heading a NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) PRT in Afghanistan. Lithuanian military had been ensuring security in Ghor and rendering assistance in the completion of development cooperation projects since 2005. More than 2.5 thousand troops of the Lithuanian Armed Forces had rotated serving as the PRT over the duration of the mission.


After the withdrawal of the PRT, Special Operations Squadron deployed in southern Afghanistan, Lithuanian-led Air Mentoring Team training Afghan helicopter pilots, National Support Element providing logistic support to Lithuanian military in Afghanistan, officers posted NATO Operational Headquarters, and Protection Team of the Head of the Lithuanian Special Mission in Afghanistan continue service in Afghanistan.



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