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The Ministry of National Defence made a decision to step up the military contribution to the NATO-led Operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan on the basis of requests from NATO and allies.

 

Soldiers of the Lithuanian Special Operations Forces are planned to leave for Kandahar, their deployment destination, in April. Alongside soldiers of the United States of America they will be carrying out tasks of training and assisting local security forces. The overall number of Lithuanian soldiers deployed to Afghanistan will not exceed the limit set by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, i.e. 50 troops.

 
 Discussions opened in Vilnius on the EU cyber rapid response force
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Representatives from 10 European Union member states began discussions in Vilnius on Monday, February 19, regarding creation of a joint European cyber force.  “The proposal to form a European Union cyber rapid response force put forward by Lithuania is very ambitious and demanding but we have to understand that the community is using a common cyberspace and its members are facing similar threats to cybersecurity, therefore we should gradually unify their cooperation efforts and increase trust in each other,” Vice Minister of National Defence Edvinas Kerza underscored at the first meeting of participants and observers of the EU cyber rapid response force initiative.

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 Data on interceptions of aircraft completed near the Baltic States’ borders on February 12 - 18, 2018
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On February 12-18 NATO fighter aircraft conducting the Air Policing Mission in the Baltic states were scrambled to intercept military aircraft of the Russian Federation in international airspace over the Baltic Sea twice.

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 NATO Defence Ministers approved the Alliance Joint Air Power Strategy
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At the meeting in Brussels on February 15 NATO Ministers of Defence approved the Alliance Joint Air Power Strategy that lays out long-term guidelines in the development of NATO air capabilities and defines air force adaptation the Alliance will pursue in the future in accordance with the changes in security environment. The goal is to ensure that air and related forces of NATO allies maintain superiority and ability to respond immediately and appropriately respond to emerging threats as security of NATO allies is ensured and stability is projected.

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 Cooperation with the Pennsylvania National Guard was discussed
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On February 15 Vice Minister of National Defence Edvinas Kerza met with Adjutant General of Pennsylvania, commander of the Pennsylvania National Guard Major General Anthony Carrelli on a visit in Lithuania. The officials discussed the lasting military cooperation between the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the Pennsylvania National Guard, potential for other directions of cooperation, and the regional security situation.

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 New Defence Attaché of Belarus accredited to Lithuania
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On February 15 Colonel Yury Kharyn was accredited to Lithuania as the new Defence Attaché of Belarus. He replaced Colonel Igor Tereshko who had served in the position since November 2013.

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 NATO Defence Ministers agreed on the new NATO Command Structure
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 On February 14-15 NATO Ministers of Defence discussed key parameters of adapting the NATO Command Structure that will be the basis of the final decisions concerning the NATO Command Structure at the meeting in Brussels.

 

The Defence Ministers defined the principal design of the future NATO Command Structure, its principles of operation and directions for the implementation if the new structure. They agreed to establish a new Joint Force Command to oversee security of sea lines of communication and to ensure a swifter deployment of reinforcement from North America to Europe. A new command responsible for logistics and military mobility will ensure a fluent movement of land forces in Europe in case of collective defence, and also a new centre for cyber operation will be established.

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Solution: Fresh Media