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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.


"Development of joint reaction capabilities serves as an engine of reforms not only for NATO but also the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Participation in the NATO Reaction Force gives encouragement to Lithuania to develop a more mobile and effective force, " said Under Secretary of the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence, Renatas Norkus.


The NRF is intended to fulfil a full spectrum of activities ranging from peacekeeping to intensive combat operations. The force is of an increased readiness and is capable of carrying out tasks independently and performing as part of a larger force. Under NRF concept, it is expected that the NRF should be operational for the period of 30-45 days. Within such a period, the mission should be accomplished or transferred to other forces.


The NRF consists of air, maritime, ground and special forces. Units assigned as part of NATO Response Force will be rotated on assignment over a period of six months. Rotation of national capabilities is planned for 12 to 18 months forward. This period includes training of the unit together with other units assigned by other countries.


Traditionally, each rotation of forces will be given a specific number. For instance, since January 2005, NRF- 4 will serve on a rotation assignment.


The NATO Response Force (NRF) was proposed during the NATO Summit held in late November 2002.


At the moment, the NRF strength is some 17, 000 troops. The force indents to reach its full capacity of 21,000 in 2006.


National units assigned to the NRF must comply with extremely high requirements. From the newest NATO members, only two countries – Lithuanian and Romania – will delegate its military units to NRF-4.












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