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Commander of NATO VJTF Land Component is visiting Lithuania


On June 28 Commander of the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force Land Component Brigadier Michael Elviss (UK Armed Forces) arrived for a three-day visit in Lithuania. General began the visit with a meeting with Commander of the NATO Force Integration Unit in Vilnius Colonel Jakob Søgård Larsen (Danish Armed Forces).


Later General visited the Joint Staff of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and met with the Chief, Major General Vitalijus Vaikšnoras.


During the three days of the visit the guest will be introduced to the conditions for acting in the region, and make a trip to southern Lithuania where the Lithuanian Grand Duchess Birutė Uhlan Battalion is deployed, he is also expected to meet with state border guard officers. General will also pay a visit to the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battlegroup in Rukla.


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 29 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.


Piranha Company (roughly 400 soldiers) of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion have been on standby for the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force since 1 January 2017. The company and the National Support Element are part of the UK-led VJTF Land Component. The Lithuanian soldiers carry out assignments in composition of the Danish Battalion, also, train alongside allies in Denmark.


All military personnel carry out standby for the NATO rapid response units in their home bases maintaining very high readiness to be prepared to deploy within a set time to the area of assignement in case the force is deployed to an operation.


More on VJTF: http://www.shape.nato.int/nato-response-force--very-high-readiness-joint-task-force


Photo credits: Captain Tomas Pakalniškis

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