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Lithuanian officer began service in the new naval EU operation in its HQ in Rome

2015.05.29

Lithuania is joining the European Union-led Operation Naval Force in the Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED) by posting an officer to the headquarters of the operation in Rome, Italy. The Lithuanian officer began serving in the position of officer on duty at the Combined Operations Centre yesterday, May 28.

 

The posting duration is planned to be till the end of the year depending on the needs of the operation.

 

“Our involvement in the new EU naval operation is our contribution to the common European Union immigration policy aimed at preventing illegal immigration and human smuggling in the Mediterranean and at the same time - senseless losses of human lives ,” Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas said.

 

The Lithuanian officer has been assigned to the operation in line with a standard procedure of launching an operational headquarters at the same time as the operation where the leading nation, Italy in this case, summons its pre-designated and pre-trained staff from across the EU.

 

The goal of the new EU operation EUNAVFOR is to disrupt the activities of illegal migrant trafficking and smuggling in the Mediterranean and to cut down illegal immigration to Europe. The decision to launch the operation was taken at the Council of the EU on May 18.

 

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There are 11 civilian and 5 military ongoing EU missions and operations involving participation from 15 non-EU countries. Lithuania takes part in to EU operations. Three instructors of the Lithuanian Armed Forces deployed to EUTM Mali (European Union Training Mission in Mali) are training military forces of Mali. Lithuania will also contribute two Autonomous Vessel Protection Detachments, both 16-strong, and several logistics specialists to EU-NAVFOR-ATALANTA (European Union Naval Force Somalia), counter-piracy efforts in the Indian Ocean, as of this August.

 

Lithuania is a part of this operation since 2011 and posts one staff officer to the operational HQ in Northwood, UK, each year

 

Over 40 Lithuanian soldiers are on standby for the first semester of this year for the Swedish-led Nordic EU Battlegroup (EU NBG).

 

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