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Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service bestowed on the outgoing U.S. Ambassador


On September 5 Minister of National Defence Rasa Juknevičienė presented the National Defence System Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service to U.S. Ambassador HE Anne E. Derse whose term in office has come to an end.

Minister of National Defence thanked U.S. Ambassador for close defence cooperation.


“During all these years it was crucial to know that the United States – Lithuania’s strategic partner in defence sector, the people of the U.S.A., and you - always available to consult with and to exchange opinions with on important security and defence points, were there for us,” R.Juknevičienė said.


According to Ambassador, Lithuania is among the principal partners and allies in Europe. A. E. Derse maintained that Lithuania is respected in Washington, defence community, and Afghanistan.


U.S.A. remains Lithuania’s key strategic ally in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The country renders support to the defence planning process of Lithuania and the extensions of the Baltic Air Policing mission. The United States has rendered crucial support in drafting the decisions of the NATO Chicago Summit.


Lithuania’s aspirations to get NATO’s accreditation for the Energy Security Centre are also backed by the United States.


U.S. military take an active role in military exercises held in Lithuania and support our nation’s efforts to increase NATO visibility in the region including the permanently organised NATO exercises (e.g., exercise “Baltic Host” designed to enhance Host Nation Support, U.S.-Baltic training event aimed at improving interoperability abilities of land force units "Saber Strike", U.S.-led naval exercise in the Baltic Sea “Baltops”, etc.). U.S.A. also supports Lithuania’s aspiration to organise NATO Response Force exercise “Steadfast Jazz” in the Baltic States and Poland next year.


Cooperation between the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the Pennsylvania National Guard is also continually developed.


The Pennsylvania National Guard has been organising courses and seminars for Lithuanian representatives, has been delegating instructors and observers to military exercises in Lithuania, and close military cooperation relations have been strengthened between the Pennsylvania National Guard and the majority of units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces since 1993. In 2009 multinational operations were chosen as the priority of this cooperation. The Pennsylvania National Guard posts logistics specialists to the Lithuanian National Support Element in Afghanistan, in the period between the autumn of 2010 till this September the National Police in Ghor were instructed coonjointly by Lithuanian and U.S. military personnel.


Cooperation between the Lithuanian and U.S. Special Operations Forces is also developed successfully.


From 1995 the U.S. Government has been financing various projects aimed at the modernisation of the Lithuanian Armed Forces from the Foreign Military Fund (FMF). FMF financial resources were used for establishing and equipping various units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Experts financed from the FMF assisted in developing a military strategy and pre-requisites of the armed forces development, rendered assistance across other areas (logistics, capability planning, etc.), procurement of miscellaneous equipment was carried out.


Moreover, approximately 40 civilian and military Lithuanian personnel are sent to study in the U.S.A. on the basis of the International Military Education and Training program. More than 500 representatives of the National Defence System have completed or are undergoing training over this decade.


The United States conducts transit of shipments to the International Security Force (ISAF) operation in Afghanistan in both directions across the territory of Lithuania.


Political dialog between the U.S.A. and Lithuania is also positively developed – Minister of National Defence has conducted three formal visits to the U.S.A. so far.


Photos by A.Pliadis

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