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Soldier of Croatia deployed with the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Rukla found without signs of life


Update 2.30 p.m.


Today around noon the Croatian soldier who passed away on December 12 was honoured with a ceremony in Rukla attended by NATO eFP soldiers from Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Lithuania, and chaplains of the Croatian and the Lithuanian Armed Forces. At around 1.00 p.m. after the ceremony the soldier’s body was flown from Kaunas Airport to Zagreb, capital of Croatia, by the Lithuanian Armed Forces C-27J Spartan. Soldiers of the Lithuanian Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf are escorting him on this journey.


Chief of Defence of Lithuania received a letter from Chief of Defence of Croatia instructing that further investigation into the death circumstance will be carried out by Croatian institutions and requesting to hand over the investigation procedures to institutions of the Republic of Croatia.




On December 12 a Croatian soldier who had been deployed with the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Rukla died. According to primary data, the soldier was found by his colleagues without signs of life in his room in the barracks.


Leadership of the Lithuanian National Defence Sysytem extends deepest condolences to the late soldier’s family.


"It is a great loss to the soldier's family and colleagues, Croatia, and of course, to Lithuania, to which each soldier of allies is close and dear", - says Lithuanian Misniter of National Defence, Mr. Raimundas Karoblis.


The event is being investigated by law enforcement institutions of Lithuania.


Next of kin have been notified.


Croatia deployed its soldiers to contribute to the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania in early December. The first Croatian contingent serving in the German-led NATO eFP in Lithuania comprises 180 soldiers with their own weaponry and equipment, including Patria armoured vehicles.


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.


POC – Captain Skomantas Povilionis, +370 612 78315.

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