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Exercising force camp is transferred to the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group

2018.05.29
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Camp 500, an exercising force camp set up on the German Armed Forces funds at the Lithuanian Armed Forces General Silvsetras Žukauskas Training Area in Pabradė, has been transferred to the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group. It will provide temporary accommodation for NATO eFP soldiers on training in the military area.

 

“Germany’s investment into long-term security of Lithuania demonstrates its serious and responsible take on the importance of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence in Lithuania,” Vice Minister of National Defence Giedrimas Jeglinskas said at a formal transfer of Camp 500 ceremony on May 29 in Pabradė. He underscored that Germany’s experience in providing excellent temporary service and training conditions for expeditionary forces is also relevant for the Lithuanian Armed Forces that have to find infrastructure and logistical solutions due to increasing units (Vice Minister’s address in English)

 

As Head of the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Infrastructure Ulrike Hauroder-Struning said at the ceremony, over the coming couple of years the compound will allow providing accommodation conditions as required for the military personnel serving in the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group. “It is very important to be able to provide accommodation oriented to soldiers’ needs quickly if one wants to have a motivated and strong force,” she said. According to the Bundeswehr representative, installation of the compound in Pabradė demonstrates great cooperation between the German Armed Forces and the private sector. The foundation for it was laid in 2015 with the Contractor Augmentation Program in the German Armed Forces.

 

The facility in Pabradė has been installed by Germany’s whish and on its resources. The contract was implemented and the maintenance falls on a German company, while the contractor hired a Lithuanian company too.

 

The container filed camp in Pabradė takes up over 4 thousand square meters, is autonomic and fully sustainable. It can accommodate up to 500 soldiers, it has a canteen, administrative, technical, welfare, and other spaces, sanitary components, storages, car pool, administrative and maintenance areas. Currently NATO eFP troops are based in Rukla where there are also spare time and sports areas, field post and a shop are installed.

 

The works of installing the compound in Pabradė began in 2017. It is set up according to the standards used in the Bundeswehr where it is customary to have barracks and military training infrastructure in or near training fields.

 

Germany plans using the compound in Pabradė for roughly 3 years until permanent infrastructure is built in Pabradė on the NATO Security Investment Program funds as planned by Lithuania, then exercise participants will move to there.

 

The Ministry of National Defence is facing infrastructure development challenges as capabilities of the Lithuanian Armed Forces are growing, therefore Germany’s best practices in the area are very relevant. The MoD pays great attention to upgrading and developing military infrastructure in order to provide proper conditions to both, Lithuanian forces and allied troops when they are deployed. Together with the improvement of combat training infrastructure, limits of the Lithuanian armed Forces training areas and surrounding military training territories are also expanded, infrastructure is upgraded, new training fields are prepared and adjusted to procured weaponry systems.

 

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The NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group was deployed in Lithuania in January 2017. The force is first and foremost a response to the military Russian aggression in Ukraine, increase in Russia’s military potential and demonstration of military power in the region. The Battle Group is led and mainly formed by Germany. Aside from German soldiers, it is also currently manned by Belgium, Croatia, the Netherlands, Norway, France, and Iceland. Later in the summer it will also be joined by Croatia.

 

The NATO eFP Battle Group is based in Rukla and integrated into the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf to constantly take part in military training events and exercises. Aside from intense routine service, allied troops also engage with local communities, take part in cultural, public and social activities.

 

Photo credits: Alfredas Pliadis (MoD)

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