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Minister of Defence and Chief of Defence of the Czech Republic will visit Czech soldiers training in Lithuania

2017.02.27
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On March 1 Minister of Defence Martin Stropnický and Chief of Defence of the Czech Republic General Josef Becvaro are coming on a working visit to Lithuania. The purpose of their visit is to meet with Czech soldiers training here with Lithuanian colleagues. At the trip to Lithuania the guests are planned to hold a brief meeting with Lithuania’s Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis and Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas at the airport.

 

The guests will be welcomed at Brigadier General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area by Vice Minister of National Defence Vytautas Umbrasas, Chief of the Joint Staff of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Major General Vitalijus Vaikšnoras, and Commander of the Motorised Infantry Brigade Žemaitija Colonel Artūras Radvila.

 

The guests will observe a joint training exercise of Lithuanian and Czech troops in the Urban Warfare Training Facility in Pabradė.

 

Roughly 150 Czech soldiers were deployed in Lithuania in early January as a rotational force implementing the NATO assurance measures in the Baltic states. They will train in joint exercises with Lithuanian soldiers until mid-March. The presence and joint training of Czech troops with Lithuanians not only boost interoperability and readiness but also sends a signal of Alliance solidarity and serves an important measure of deterrence.

 

The bulk of the rotational troops serve with 1st Infantry Company from 74th Light Motorised Battalion (based in garrison town Bucovice). Throughout the rotation time the Czech soldiers will be based at the Lithuanian Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion in Klaipėda and train alongside military personnel of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Kęstutis Mechanised Infantry Battalion based in Tauragė district.

 

This is the first time Czech rotational forces are deployed for several months of training in Lithuania.

 

As NATO strengthens deterrence measures agreed in spring 2014 for the Baltic region, company-sized units of the US Army rotate in Lithuania, also, companies from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Hungary Luxembourg, Poland, and Portugal have carried out several month-long training deployments in our country.

 

For the Media:

 

Media representatives will be able to observe the joint military exercise of Czech rotational and Lithuanian Grand Duke Kęstutis Mechanised Infantry Battalion, Motorised Infantry Brigade Žemaitija, troops at the Lithuanian Armed Forces Urban Warfare Facility at General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area in Pabradė. Squad-sized units are planned to train building assault operations.

 

Media representatives wishing to observe the exercise and interview the guests on March 1 should register until February 28, 1500hrs at [email protected] , or by phone 00370 643 77977 (please indicate your full name, media outlet, and contact phone number).

 

Registered media representatives should arrive at the training area on March 1 before 1100hrs, please have your press card and ID document, freelancers and foreign media will also need the MoD permit to visit national defence system units.

 

 

Media program

 

11.00 Arrival at Gen S.Žukauskas Training Area (Meškerinė village, Pabradė municipality, Švenčionys district)

11.30-12.00 Welcoming the guests and presentation of the exercise;

12.00-12.30 Exercise operation display;

12.30-12.45 Interview opportunity;

12.45 Departure.

 

Lithuanian-Czech defence cooperation:

 

NATO Air Policing Mission

 

Czech Air Force fighters have already completed two rotations of the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission (2012 August 31, 2012 - 2013 01 January 31 2013 and 2009 May 1, 2009 - August 31, 2009). The next rotation the Czech Republic is planned to take on will be in the last quarter of 2019.

 

NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) Lithuania: the Czech Republic has assigned two officers to the NFIU in Vilnius.

Bilateral air force cooperation

 

The main part of bilateral cooperation of the Air Forces with the Czech Republic is implemented via Exercise Baltic Eye. At the event Czech pilots and maintenance personnel come two Vilnus in their L-159 fighter aircraft, train operating their air assets in a different environment, and Lithuanian soldiers complete flight hours and maintain their qualification. The exercise is held several times per year. Lithuanian and Czech soldiers also train together in other international air support exercises, such as Ample Strike, or Tobruq Legacy, exercise for air defence units.

 

In 2014 and 2015 the Czech Republic also attended Exercise Iron Sword in Lithuania.

 

MoD archival photo

 

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