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Lithuanian Air Force personnel prepare for duty in the NATO Response Force


On December 21 troops of the Lithuanian Air Force assigned to complete duty in the NATO Response Force (NRF) attended an exercise in the Šiauliai Air Base of the Lithuanian Air Force.


Approximately 30 servicemembers of the Air Base and the Air Defence Battalion forming an NRF Airport Maintenance Unit familiarised with various tactical technical characteristics and special loading requirements military of commercial and passenger aircraft and freighters. In the practical part of the exercise troops trained to prepare for transportation of ordinary and hazardous cargoes and vehicles, to deliver passenger services and aircraft guidance, familiarised with the operation of special loading equipment, loading and unloading procedures.


In spring of 2012 specialists of the Lithuanian Air Force began training for the standby period in the NRF due in January 2013. The troops attended individual skills refresher courses, received cargo vehicle driving licenses, operator’s certificates for special equipment, and licenses for hazardous cargo preparation and transportation by air.


The Airport Terminal Maintenance Unit formed by the Lithuanian Air Force will perform standby in the NRF for a third time. Prior to that loading specialists of the Lithuanian Air Force conducted duty in the NRF in the first semester of 2008 and in 2011.


This year the Lithuanian Armed Forces have committed its C-27J Spartan transport aircraft, a Special Operations Forces detachment, and Movement Control and Medium Truck and Water Purification detachments formed by the Logistics Command to the all-year round readiness NATO Response Force.


In 2013 the high-readiness NATO Response Force will include nearly 200 Lithuanian troops from across the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Apart from that, in the second semester of 2013 approximately 150 Lithuanian servicemembers will be deployed with the European Union Battle Group along with military personnel of the United Kingdom, Latvia, the Netherlands and Sweden.


The NATO Response Force (NRF) is a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational NATO force, one of the core combat instruments of the Alliance. The NRF is made up of military units which are committed by allies and maintain high readiness in their home countries for a set period of time prepared to deploy into an operation theatre in case a decision to activate the NRF was made. Once the decision is made, the NRF is capable of deploying within five days.


The NATO Response Force initiative was announced at the Prague Summit in November 2002. The decision to use the NRF is made by the North Atlantic Council. From October 2005 to February 2006, elements of the NATO Response Force were used for the first time in Pakistan after a devastating earthquake. Then Lithuania contributed a Water Purification Unit to the humanitarian effort operation.



POC: Deputy Chief of the LITHAF Air Base 1st Lt Ieva Gulbinienė. Cell phone no 00370-686-00655


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