On February 10 Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis thanked for the lasting U.S. support to Lithuania’s security and defence, U.S. forces deployed in Lithuania, and intensifying cooperation on capability development at a meeting with the new Ambassador of the United States of America to Lithuania Robert S. Gilchrist. Minister and Ambassador agreed to look for more ways of cooperation in defence and to continue the existing bilateral initiatives.
The United States is Lithuania’s strategic partner and key ally for ensuring security in the Baltic region, it takes an active role in implementing assurance measures in the Baltic states, enhancing regional security and stability.
The strength of the U.S. commitment to the Baltic security is demonstrated by the abundance of joint exercises, a U.S. battalion currently deployed in Lithuania, increasing procurements from the U.S., including two major ongoing projects – 200 articles of armoured Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) acquired from the U.S. Government for the Lithuanian Armed Forces and planned procurement of six UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. Additional USD 175 million was approved for developing capabilities in the Baltic states in the new U.S. Defence Budget. USD 50 million is planned to be used for building air defence. Development of air defence capabilities is one of the priorities of bilateral cooperation with the U.S. and Lithuania’s focus. NASAMS medium-range air defence systems are also bought from Norway to improve air defence.
In early 2019 Lithuania and the U.S. signed a cooperation plan ensuring continuity of efforts and proper funding of long-term projects.
Photo credits: Giedrė Makzimovicz/MoD