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First group of Lithuanian military instructors deployed to the US-led coalition operation in Iraq

2016.12.22
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Aiming to strengthen international military cooperation relations and delivering on commitments to international security Lithuania joins the US-led coalition operation in Iraq Inherent Resolve and deploys Lithuanian military instructors. The first rotation of Lithuanian military instructors was deployed to Iraq during a ceremony at the Joint Staff of the Lithuanian Armed Forces in Vilnius.

 

“Lithuania retains the name of a reliable ally, takes part in international operations strengthening stability and security and contributes military personnel. Lithuania has already sent medical supplies to Iraqi forces as part of the global US-led coalition fighting Daesh terrorist organisation, and now we are stepping up our commitments by deploying Lithuanian military instructors,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis says.

 

Lithuanians will leave for the region of operation in Iraq in January 2017 from Denmark together with a Danish contingent. The group of six Lithuanian military instructors is assigned to the Danish contingent which will also include Danish, Latvian and Estonian soldiers.

 

Lithuanians will provide military training and education and exercises to Iraqi soldiers and will ensure security in the region of operation alongside other allies. Just like in other currently ongoing operations, Lithuanians will not be involved in combat tasks during the service in Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq.

 

Lithuanian soldiers were training for the mission for nearly half a year: took part in various courses, trained both in Lithuania and Denmark.

 

Lithuanian military personnel is deployed to Iraq on the basis of a resolution of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania signed on June 29 allowing to send up to 30 public servants and military personnel to the US-led coalition operation in Iraq.

 

Participation in multinational operations is an important element of Lithuania’s commitment to international security, and also a means to enhance the EU Common Security and Defence Policy, NATO collective defence and military cooperation.

 

The multinational operation in Iraq is the 7th operation the Lithuanian Armed Forces is currently taking part in. Over 30 Lithuanian soldiers are currently serving in6 NATO, European Union and UN operation. 7 soldiers serve in EU-led operations: EUTM Mali, EUNAVFOR MED Operation SOPHIA and EU NAVFOR ATALANTA. 21 Lithuanian soldiers are deployed to Operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan and to the NATO peace support mission in Kosovo – 1 soldier. 4 Lithuanian troops are deployed to UN peacekeeping operation in Mali MINUSMA.

 

Operation Inherent Resolve

 

Key aim of the US-led coalition force Operation Inherent Resolve – prevention of ISIL/Daesh in Syria and Iraq, mentoring and training local Iraqi security forces. The operation was launched in October 2014 when the Government of Iraq requested help from the international community to prevent activities of paramilitary terrorist organisations in the country. A part of NATO and EU countries deploy air capabilities, military instructors and other capabilities to Operation Inherent Support. Currently over 20 countries take part in it, while military, humanitarian and other types of support comes from over 60.

 

Photos: training in Denmark and deployment ceremony

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