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Commander-in-Chief of the Lithuanian Armed Forces to observe Multinational Exercise Amber Hope 2011 in the Pabradės Training Area


On June 22 Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of the Republic of Lithuania and the Commander-in-Chief of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, as well as the top management from the Ministry of National Defence and other guests visited the Pabradės Training Area of the Lithuanian Armed Forces where they were briefed on the Exercise goals, undergoing operations, tasks and principles of command of the multinational exercise Amber Hope 2011.


According to Rasa Juknevičienė, Minister of National Defence, exercises of such a scope help strengthen the country’s defence capabilities, contribute to the improvement of collective security, and test and evaluate capabilities of both the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the state in rendering Host Nation Support.


The distinguished guests observed an operational demonstration by Lithuanian and Finnish troops, which included simulated infantry firing, air support, medical and transport evacuation.


“Such exercises are necessary, especially with regard to the existence of defence plans for the Baltic States, so that the multinational force is able to coordinate their actions and cooperate, because neither of the states would be able to complete an entire operation alone,” said President Grybauskaitė. “We have truly valuable experiences learned in Afghanistan, and those lessons may be applied to in any part of the world,” she added.


Members of the Committee on National Security and Defence and the Seimas (the Parliament of Lithuania), Maj Gen Arvydas Pocius, Chief of Defence for Lithuania, Maj Gen Wesley E. Craig, Adjutant General of the US Pennsylvania National Guard, component commanders of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, ambassadors and defence attachés of participating countries, and media representatives were given an opportunity to familiarize with living, exercising conditions, medical support for soldiers.


As part of the event program participants and guests of the Exercise were saluted by six F-16 fighter-jets from the US Air Force “Thunderbirds” demonstration squadron.


More than 2,000 military servicemembers and civilians from seven NATO countries - Canada, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, Poland and U.S.A., and two NATO partner countries under the Partnership for Peace programme - Finland and Georgia, are taking part in Exercise Amber Hope 2011 from June 13. Observers nations for the Exercise include: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Ukraine.


Around 1,600 troops from all the components of the Lithuanian Armed Forces – land, naval, air, and special operations as well as personnel from the Public Security Service under the Ministry of the Interior and the Lithuanian Red Cross Society – have represented Lithuania throughout the Exercise structure.


The goal of Amber Hope 2011 is to enhance interaction of military units of NATO and Partnership for Peace program countries with a view of jointly conducting crisis response operations and strengthening military cooperation among members of the Alliance. The Exercise will also serve for enhancing and evaluating readiness of the Lithuanian Armed Forces to deliver Host Nation Support to the incoming forces.


The Exercise will conclude on 23 June with a formal closing ceremony at the Pabradės Training Area and in Klaipėda.


Lithuanian Armed Forces have been organizing Amber Hope since 1995, and the series of Amber Hope was held in Klaipėda four years ago.


This year, the Exercise was planned and conducted by the Joint Headquarters of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.


For more information about the Exercise:




The point of contact for Exercise Amber Hope 2011 in the Pabradės Training Area - Capt Mindaugas Neimontas, Head of Media Operations Section, cell phone 00370 640 45 380, e-mail [email protected]

Pictures by: E. Žygaitis, S. Povilionis and A. Tamošiūnas

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