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A Christmas concert “Together We are NATO” arranged by the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group took place in Jonava Sports Arena


On December 20 Christmas concert “Together We are NATO” arranged by the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania took place in Jonava Sports Arena. The German Armed Forces Band from Hanover and “Mandy and the good Vibes Society” Dutch pop band performed for two thousand of civilian and military guests at Jonava Sports Arena. “Military-to-Military” is the Christmas slogan of the NATO eFP Battalion Battle Group-arranged concert. “It is the expression of our solidarity for Lithuanian soldiers,” Commander of the NATO eFP Battalion Lieutenant Colonel Thorsten Gensler said. “We are strong together, we enjoy time together, we are NATO together,” he added.


In the audience of the concert there was Mayor of Jonava district Egenijus Sabutis, Archbishop of Vilnius Gintaras Grušas, Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania Arnoldas Pikžirnis, Commander of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf Colonel Mindaugas Steponavičius, Ambassadors and Defence Attachés accredited to Lithuania, leading officials of municipalities in Jonava, Kėdainiai, Kaišiadorys districts, and other guests.


“This concert is our thank you to the Lithuanian Armed Forces, especially the Iron Wolf Brigade, for hospitality,” Commander of the NATO eFP Battle Group in Lithuania Lt Col T. Gensler said. “Multinational character and solidarity is the fundamental feature of our mission and integration as a battle group in Lithuania,” Deputy Commander of the Dutch contingent Major Martijn Potthuizen said. Soldiers of the NATO eFP Battle Group and the Iron Wolf Brigade and their families, leadership of Lithuania, Jonava, Kaišiadorys, Kėdainiai districts, members of public and economic societies were invited to attend.


Military Band of Hanover


45 musicians of the Bundeswehr Military Band from Hanover gave a lively Christmas performance in Jonava, the programme including pieces of all genres – from classical Christmas songs to modern ,music. Back in Germany the musicians perform as both, a big band and a full-composition orchestra.


Mindy: “vintage” band of contemporary sound


Mindy is the soloist of the nine-member band from the Netherlands. Wind instruments and bongo drums along with the electric guitar, bass guitar and electronic keyboard instruments are the work tools of the nine musicians. Mindy sings in an energetic manner to the tunes of the 1920s dance music. Mindy and the Good Vibes Society create a show of good vibes and mood while dressed in the costumes reminiscent of the roaring 20s.


Donations for the Child Day-care Centre


NATO eFP soldiers were collecting donations at the concert, part of the funds will be given to Rukla Child Day-care Centre which provides a space for children to prepare for school and spend free time while their parents are at work. “The donation we have collected is our contribution to support and improve the facility,” Commander of the Battalion Lt Col T.Gensler said.


The multinational NATO eFP Battalion Battle Group in Rukla has been deployed to ensure deterrence and defence since the beginning of this year as a response to the changed geopolitical situation. The unit comprises troops from Germany (over 450), Belgium (100), the Netherlands (over 200), Luxembourg (20), and Norway (200). From the beginning of 2018, the rotation-based battle group will be strengthened by the French contingent. The NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group is integrated into the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf, based in Rukla and trains in joint training events with the Lithuanian Armed Forces, while in the event of a crisis it would defend Lithuania with national and additionally deployed allied forces.


Prepared on the basis of NATO eFP Lithuania information


Credits: 1st Lt Sebastian Grünberg

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