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All of the Dutch contingent joined the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion in Rukla, preparation for joint training begins


All of the soldiers assigned to the contingent the Netherlands contributes to the German-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battalion have deployed in Lithuania. The main group Dutch troops numbering up to over 100 have arrived via the Lithuanian Air Force Air Base in Šiauliai. In total, roughly 205 soldiers of the Royal Netherlands Armed Forces will serve in the NATO eFP Battalion Battlegroup.


The Dutch troops had brought various equipment: the roughly 40 military vehicles include CV 90 infantry fighting vehicles, Fennek reconnaissance vehicles, Boxer multirole vehicles, armoured recovery vehicles, etc.

In early April soldiers of Germany and the Netherlands are scheduled to train in a joint exercise at the Lithuanian Armed Forces training area in Pabradė.


The deploying group is mainly formed by soldiers based in Havelte and serving with the 44th Mechanised Infantry Battalion, 43rd Mechanised Infantry Brigade, Royal Netherlands Army. They will be deployed in Lithuania until July, then troops with the 13th Brigade will rotate in.


With the Dutch soldiers already in Lithuania, there are over 400 German soldiers, 100 Belgian soldiers in the NATO eFP battlegroup in Lithuania. Also, over 300 military vehicles have been brought to Rukla. The deployment of German force is nearly complete, while Norwegians will join the eFP Battlegroup in May.


In 2017-2018 the NATO enhanced forward presence battalion will be manned by Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, and France, in total, roughly 1,200 soldiers. Germany is the framework nation for the NATO eFP Battalion Battlegroup in Lithuania and provides the core strength of the unit.


At peacetime the NATO battalion will train together with Lithuanian forces in Lithuanian Armed Forces training areas, or it will defend Lithuania alongside national forces and additionally deployed reinforcement in case of a crisis or conflict.


The NATO battalion in Lithuania will be comprised on a headquarters and a headquarters company, logistic support company, and three-to-four combat companies, and different combat support units.


The allied battlegroup will be reinforced when necessary (e.g., in case of a threat or exercises). The reinforcement is planned to deploy in summer 2017 when a large cycle of exercises is to take place in Lithuania.


The NATO Battalion Battlegroup is placed in subordination of the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and led in accordance with NATO command and control procedures. The NATO eFP Battalion will rotate every six months.


Lithuania highly appreciates the efforts made by Germany and other allies to strengthen deterrence and collective defence in the Baltic region.


NATO enhanced Forward Presence in Lithuania is a clear signal of Alliance solidarity and resolve to defend NATO territory against any aggressor.


The NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battlegroups are also deployed in Estonia, Latvia and Poland as agreed by the NATO Summit in the context of the changed geopolitical situation and active Russia’s actions in Ukraine. They will be headed by the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States of America. All the battlegroups will be fully deployed until June 2017.


Photo credits – Arnas Glazauskas , Lithuanian Air Force Air Base

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