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Soldiers of Algirdas Battalion performing standby for the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force deployed for an exercise to Denmark

2017.03.24
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The 3rd “Piranha” Mechanised Infantry Company with the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion with dedicated units and vehicles left for Denmark to train as part of the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). Over 100 Lithuanian servicemembers will train responding to a violation of sovereignty of any of NATO allies together with the Guard Hussar Battalion, 2nd Brigade, Royal Danish Army, on March 25-April 11.

 

“Exercises provide opportunity to train interoperability and strengthens the entire Alliance at the same time, as the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force is the spearhead of the Alliance,” Commander of the “Piranha” Company Captain Algirdas Navasaitis says.

 

The 3rd Mechanised Infantry Company of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion with assigned units began standby for the VJTF on 1 January 2017. Lithuanians were intensely training for the task for a year both in Lithuania and abroad.

 

“Soldiers of Algirdas Battalion are assigned to the VJTF Land Component led by the United Kingdom for the standby period, they will be completing tasks in composition of the Danish Battalion, that is why their training is carried out with Danish forces,” Company Commander Captain A. Navasaitis says.

 

Logistical support for Lithuanian troops is provided by a National Support Element.

 

Very High Readiness Joint Task Force

 

The VJTF is made of a multinational brigade (roughly 5 thousand troops) consisting of five maneuver battalions supported by air, naval, and special operations forces. With Full Operational Capability reached, two more brigades will be added to the VJTF which would be used as quick reinforcement in case of a full-blown crisis. In case an order to deploy is issued, the VJTF will be ready to leave at no notice, right after the first warning and indicators of possible threats preceding a crisis and to act as a deterrent preventing further escalation of the crisis. Quick deployment of this rather small but capable unit would be a clear message for any potential aggressor that all 28 members of the alliance will respond militarily to any violation of sovereignty of a NATO member state.

 

The VJTF is generated on a rotational basis. NATO countries assign capabilities to the NRF on a rotational basis every year. Some countries are the lead countries while others are contributing capabilities.

 

VJTF differs from other NRF components in its capability to respond in a quick and flexible manner: some of the VJTF elements are already to respond at two-day notice, while others – in no longer than 7 days.

 

The EU Battle Groups (EUBG) based on the model of the NRF are multinational capabilities designed to provide a quick response to developing crises. EU member countries assign units to the EUBGs on a rotational 6-month basis. Lithuania has been contributing in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

 

More information at: http://www.shape.nato.int/page349011837

 

Photos by the Lithuanian Armed Forces: The 3rd “Piranha” Mechanised Infantry Company with the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion with dedicated units and vehicles while deploying to Denmark

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