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Deployment of strategic air defence systems in Lithuania is no longer a taboo – the capabilities would be present if needed, R.Karoblis said


“The fact that the multinational ground-based air defence Exercise Tobruq Legacy 2017 is held in Lithuania shows that neither exercises of this kind nor deployment of strategic air defence systems in Lithuania is a taboo any longer. In case there is a need, these capabilities would be here in Lithuania. And today we are rehearsing acting alongside allies in case we need to,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis underscored at Distinguished Visitors Day of the exercise.


“I am glad that today we witness an array of air defence equipment and such an excellent cooperation among NATO allies’ forces, and I have a hope that this helps us prepare for follow-on NATO decisions, and protects not only the Baltic states’ borderline but the entire borderline of NATO’s eastern flank with the air defence equipment there is,” President of the Republic of Lithuania HE Dalia Grybauskaitė said after visiting Exercise Tobruq Legacy 2017and observing tests of the Patriot long-range air defence system.


Exercise Director Lieutenant Colonel Rolandas Greibus pointed out that the exercise “has not only given an opportunity for Lithuanian air personnel to familiarise with NATO allies’ ground-based air defence systems but also to enhance and strengthen interoperability.”


The United States of America for the first time deployed the Patriot long-range air defence system,one of the world’s most cutting-edge anti-missile and new generation aircraft systems, in Lithuania for Exercise Tobruq Legacy 2017.


Deployment of the Patriot long-range air defence system demonstrates the strength of the strategic partnership between Lithuania and the U.S. as well as of the U.S. commitment to strengthen Lithuania’s security.


Exercise Tobruq Legacy 2017 began on July 11 to run until July 22 in Šiauliai district. The event will involve roughly 500 soldiers and 30 air defence systems of Lithuania and four more NATO allies – the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Latvia, and Poland.


Tobruq Legacy 2017 is conducted concurrently in Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Romania. In total, 22 allies train forces in the three countries, Lithuanians also take part in the portions of the exercise in Romania and the Czech Republic.


POC: PAO for the Lithuanian Air Force HQ 1st Lt Audrius Ašmontas, 00370 614 35697

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