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Croatian soldiers deployed in Lithuania to join the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group


Video report


On December 1-2 soldiers and equipment of the Croatian Defence Forces deployed in Lithuania as part of the German-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group.


“We are grateful and appreciate the contribution of the countries forming the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania. It is a demonstration of Alliance solidarity and unity, and we welcome Croatia’s decision to join the measures of strengthening NATO deterrence and collective defence in the Baltic region,” the Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis says.


The first Croatian contingent will consist of 180 troops, majority of them are coming from the 1st Mechanised battalion “Tigers” of the Guards Mechanised Brigade of the Croatian Army with equipment and armament including logistic support elements and armoured vehicles “Patria”.


The Armed Forces of Croatia are joining NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in in line with the Decision of the Croatian Parliament of 30 June 2017.


The Croatian troops will join the Rukla-based multinational battalion which is led by Germany as framework nation. Deployed in Lithuania since the beginning of this year, it consists of soldiers from framework and contributing nations: Germany (over 450), Belgium (100), the Netherlands (over 200), Luxembourg (20), and Norway (200). From the beginning of 2018, the rotation-based battle group will be strengthened by the French contingent.


The NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group is integrated into the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf, based in Rukla, and trains in joint training events with the Lithuanian Armed Forces.


The most important of the security guarantees that Lithuania was given at the NATO Summit in Warsaw in June 2016 was the collective Alliance's decision to establish an enhanced forward presence to the Baltic States and Poland from 2017. It was aimed to unambiguously demonstrate, as part of our overall posture, Allies' solidarity, determination, and ability to act by triggering an immediate Allied response to any aggression. NATO Heads of State and governments adopted the decision in response to the Russian aggression in Ukraine and the changed geopolitical situation. The creation of the enhanced Forward Presence is an expression of the Alliance solidarity and embodies credible deterrence and defence.


POC: 1st Lt Vytenis Miliušas, Strategic Communication Department, Lithuanian Armed Forces, +370 653 58 686


Video credit: Sgt Spc Lukas Tamošiūnas

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