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Commander U.S. Army Europe Lieutenant General F. Hodges to visit Lithuania


On March 1 Commander of the U.S. Army Europe Lieutenant General Frederick Benjamin “Ben” Hodges will visit Lithuania. In Vilnius General meet with Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis and Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas.


The Minister and the Chief of Defence will discuss with the U.S. General security situation in the region, further plans regarding the implementation of the U.S. deterrence measures in Lithuania, NATO enhanced forward presence and military training.


After the meeting in Vilnius Lt Gen F. B. Hodges will pay a visit to Rukla (Jonava distr.) with Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force Brigadier General Valdemaras Rupšys where they will meet with U.S. rotational troops training with Lithuanians and command of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence battalion in Lithuania.


The U.S. rotational troops are deployed in Lithuania to train alongside our forces as part of operation Atlantic Resolve the United States conducts in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe. The operation was launched in spring 2014 in response to the changed security situation after the Russian aggression in Ukraine and in order to strengthen assurance measures in the eastern flank of the Alliance and demonstrate support to the Baltic states. Troops of the U.S. Army Europe in Lithuania rotate every 4-5 months. The present rotation is formed by approx. 120 soldiers with 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Europe. This rotation in Lithuania operates roughly 10 M1A2 Abrams tanks, 5 M2A3 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, and other equipment.


The NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battlegroup is deployed in Lithuania on the basis of the decision taken at the NATO Summit in Warsaw last July in response to the changed geopolitical situation and the Russian activity in Ukraine.


The NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion in Lithuania is formed by German, Norwegian, Dutch, Belgian, and Luxembourg’s troops this year, next year it will be manned by Croatia and France. The roughly 1,200 strong battlegroup in Lithuania is deployed in Rukla and led by Germany.


Equivalent battlegroups are deployed in Estonia, Latvia and Poland as of the beginning of this year to strengthen allied presence in the eastern flank of the Alliance.


For the Media:


Wednesday, March 1, Chief of Defence Lt Gen J. V. Žukas and Commander U.S. Army Europe Lt Gen F. B. Hodges will provide a short media opportunity at the Black Hall of the Ministry of National Defence (Totorių str. 25) at 1005-1025hrs.


Media representatives willing to attend should register at the MoD Strategic Communication and Public Relations Department by e-mail [email protected] or by phone 00370 687 907 65, 00370 5 273 55519 until February 28, 1500hrs. You will need to indicate your full name, media outlet, e-mail address and cell phone number.


Photo credit: SSgt Edikas Ponomariovas - One of the many visits by Lt Gen F. B. Hodges in Lithuania.

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