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Chief of Defence of Denmark on official visit in Lithuania



Chief of Defence of the Kingdom of Denmark Gen Knud Bartels is paying an official visit to Lithuania on June 27 and 28.


During the visit the guest has already met with Rasa Juknevičienė, Minister of National Defence, Maj Gen Arvydas Pocius, Chief of Defence of Lithuania, and other military representatives.


In the meeting with Denmark’s Chief of Defence Lithuanian Minister of National Defence highlighted the particular importance of Lithuania’s cooperation with the Nordic countries. R.Juknevičienė and Gen K. Bartels discussed the multinational operation in Afghanistan, the question of continuing the Baltic Air Policing mission, and cooperation between the Lithuanian and Danish Land Forces.


During the conversation with the high-ranking guest Maj Gen A. Pocius addressed the countries’ cooperation in training the Tactical Air Control Parties (TACP) involved in the operation in Afghanistan together with Danish units. Maj Gen A. Pocius affirmed that Lithuania plans to continue contributing the parties to the operations in Afghanistan in composition of the Danish Contingent.


Military commanders of Lithuania and Denmark also discussed joint training events of the Motorised Infantry Brigade „Iron Wolf“ and the Danish Division Red Knight held alternately in Lithuania and Denmark, the Baltic Air Policing mission, and other points.


Lithuanian Chief of Defence pointed out affiliation of MIB „Iron Wolf“ to the Danish Division, allowing Lithuanian units to undergo training in the Division’s composition, as one of the most successful cases of Danish-Lithuanian cooperation. Maj Gen Pocius also mentioned another example of such cooperation - a joint Lithuanian-Danish project LITBRIG aimed at preparing MIB „Iron Wolf“ for participation in NATO operations in composition of the Danish Division before 2014.


The high guest agreed on those points with Maj Gen A.Pocius and added that Lithuanian-Danish cooperation is bilaterally beneficial. „Cooperation between MIB „Iron Wolf“ and the Danish Division is truly rewarding. I would like to highlight that MIB „Iron Wolf“ is as good as our brigades are. We can always learn from you, see a new approach towards doing one thing or another, accept new challenges, and operate in a multinational environment. We are very grateful for that,“ said Gen K.Bartels, Chief of Defence of the Kingdom of Denmark.


When referring to the Baltic Air Policing mission Chief of Defence of Denmark reaffirmed that on September 1 the present French Contingent will be replaced by pilots of the Royal Danish Air Force.


On the following day Gen K.Bartels will visit the Energy Security Centre, Gen Jonas Žemaitis Lithuanian Military Academy and the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas Headquarters Battalion.


Since the beginning of Lithuania’s participation in peacekeeping operations in 1994, over a thousand of Lithuanian military were trained for multinational deployments with assistance from the Danish Armed Forces and were sent to serve in Danish contingents in the missions in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Iraq.


Denmark support Lithuania in the field of military training, supplies weaponry and organizes joint military training events on a permanent basis. Approximately 250 Lithuanian servicemembers have undergone training in Denmark’s military institutions.


In 2003 the main phase of the project Artillery Battalion (ARTBAT) sponsored by Denmark was completed and all the necessary equipment brought, during the phase Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion was manned on the basis of material and expert support from Denmark. In 2004 troops underwent instructions of using Denmark’s gift – howitzer guns.


In 2006 Lithuanian Motorised Infantry Brigade „Iron Wolf“ was affiliated to the Land Force Division of the Danish Armed Forces giving a start for the LITBRIG project. This development provided an opportunity for servicemember of the Lithuanian Armed Forces to take part in a higher level training than it is available in Lithuania – division level exercise, training and staff work. LITBRIG is a bilateral Danish-Lithuanian project launched in 2005 on the initiative of the Kingdom of Denmark. The main goal of the project is to reach full capability of the MIB „Iron Wolf“ and its staff before the end of 2014 for the full spectrum of NATO operations in compliance with NATO standards as well as to ensure systematic and purposeful work and responsibility of all the divisions of the Lithuanian Armed Forces involved in the project. MIB „Iron Wolf“ is Lithuania’s delegate to the training cycle of the Danish Division.


Danish Advisory and Training Staff (DATS) based in Latvia (Riga) provides consultations on a permanent basis for Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian land forces' headquarters on the matters of compliance with NATO standards for armed forces.


Last year the final stage of the procurement project regarding three Standarflex 300 patrol vessels processed between Danish and Lithuanian Ministries of Defence was completed with the three of them reaching Klaipėda Seaport.


Pictures by Giedrė Maksimovicz


Spokesperson to the Chief of Defence of Lithuania Capt Tomas Balkus, tel 00370 278 5091, cell phone 00370 682 25 359.

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