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Procurement of military materiel from the Netherlands Armed Forces is only a part of our broader bilateral defence cooperation, Minister of National Defence J.Olekas says

2016.08.18
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Over past six months roughly 200 combat and medlift Mercedes-Benz GD vehicles, trucks, and other military vehicles were brought from the Netherlands to Lithuania to supplement and update the fleet of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. On August 18 a meeting of Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas and Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lithuania HE Bert van der Lingen was held in Kaunas to celebrate the successful defence cooperation between the two countries.

 

“Procurement of military materiel from the Netherlands Armed Forces is only a part of our broader bilateral defence cooperation, which by all means will only make it stronger. The Netherlands actively contribute to the security in our region by taking part in the NATO Air Policing Mission on a regular basis, two Dutch soldiers serve with the NATO Force Integration Unit in Lithuania. We very much welcome the intention of the Netherlands to deploy rotational forces in Lithuania, that is, an infantry company in composition of the German-led multinational battalion. It is a step which will significantly strengthen practical cooperation between the Netherlands and Lithuania, as well as NATO presence in our region,” Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas underlined.

 

In his turn, Ambassador of the Netherlands HE B. van der Lingen underscored that the Netherlands are committed to NATO allies and stand ready to contribute to the initiative of strengthening the eastern border of NATO by deploying a Dutch company in composition of the German-led multinational battalion. The Netherlands also plan sending military personnel and fighter jets to carry out the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic States from Šiauliai and this way to contribute to the security in the region.

 

The Lithuanian Armed Forces buy from the Netherlands Armed Forces several hundreds of used military vehicles (Mercedes-Benz GD of various purposes, DAF tow-trucks and trucks, trailers, etc.) during the period of 2015-2017 on a bilateral basis.

 

The vehicles are brought to Lithuania from the Netherlands in several phases: the first 15 vehicles arrived in late 2015, 18 medlift off-road vehicles, a tow-truck and several tens of trailers – in April 2016, roughly 150 combat and medlift off-road vehicles – in June-July 2016. The rest of the equipment, off-road vehicles, trucks, and trailers, will be delivered in 2016-2017. The total value of the project is EUR 7 m.

 

The off-road vehicles in good technical condition are primarily delivered to the Depot Service of the Lithuanian Armed Forces in Kaunas and then distributed to other units.

 

This is the second military equipment procurement contract between Lithuania and the Netherlands. In 2012-2013 the Lithuanian Armed Forces bought vehicles, communications containers and airport service equipment (to replace outdated and not cost-efficient equipment then used in the Lithuanian Armed Forces) from the Netherlands Armed Forces for a good price.

 

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Defence cooperation with the Kingdom of the Netherlands

 

At the NATO Summit in Warsaw this July the Netherlands officially announced the decision to deploy troops to the German-formed multinational battalion in Lithuania together with Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Norway.

 

Militaries of Lithuania and the Netherlands cooperate on the basis of an updated version of a bilateral cooperation agreement signed in June 2008. Soldiers of both countries were on standby together for the European Union Battle Group (EU BG) in the first semester of 2011, and for the NATO Response Force (NRF-18) in 2011-2012.

 

Dutch airmen carried out their first NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic States with four F-16 Fighting Falcon jets deployed in Šiauliai in 2005, and in September-December 2014 the Netherlands provided augmentation of four fighter aircraft to the Mission operating from the Malbork airbase (Poland). The Netherlands Navy takes part in mine countermeasures exercises and other events in the Baltic Sea alongside other allies on a regular basis. Air defence experts from the Lithuanian Air Force train in Stinger missile systems training events in the Netherlands on an annual basis.

 

Lithuanian and Dutch militaries also cooperate actively in logistics: both countries’ soldiers have trained together in international water purification, movement control, and transportation of cargo training and exercises.

 

Credits: Giedrė Maksimovicz and Lukas Kalvaitis.

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