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Joint Terminal Attack Controllers will be able to train in Kazlų Rūda Training Area


As conditions of training for both, our and allied soldiers, in Lithuania are further enhanced, the work is also ongoing at the Lithuanian Armed Forces Kazlų Rūda Training Area, district of Marijampolė. The work is approaching completion and certification of an air firing range complying with NATO standards where aircraft crews will be able to train delivering fire at ground targets and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers will be able to train operating in concert with air capabilities.


“Strengthening Lithuanian Armed Forces capabilities, modernisation and development of training areas in order to provide proper training conditions for our soldiers and hosting conditions to allied troops is one of the instances of the current modernisation of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and enhancement of capabilities,” Vice Minister Giedrimas Jeglinskas says.


Vice Minister stresses that Lithuania’s strategic partner, the United States of America, greatly support the modernisation of the training area through funding from the European Reassurance Initiative and by delegating experts needed to carry out the work, trials and tests. “Completion of this project and better air capabilities in the territory of Lithuania will doubtlessly contribute to deterrence policy,” Vice Minister of National Defence says.


According to G. Jeglinskas, possession of an air firing range will allow cutting the costs of joint terminal attack controller training. So far, such training and certification would be obtained only in foreign countries.


The work at Kazlų Rūda Training Area began last autumn. Since then, project planning and preparation have been completed, rules for aircraft firing at ground targets, providing for structural changes in tactical military aircraft flight control, are in the process of drafting.


“In order to ensure flight safety between military and civilian aviation, the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania established new territories for military aviation training at the request of the Chief of Defence of Lithuania,” Major Dainius Misiūnas, Head of Training Area and Simulation Systems Subdivision, Lithuanian Armed Forces Training and Doctrine Command, says. He also stresses that tests of suitability have been carried out at the firing range and airspace over the training area, exercise with nearly largest airplanes, B-52 bombers of the U.S., and test drops of dummy aerial bombs completed. The range was tested for fire of different aviation weaponry and certified for laser usage during exercise Saber Strike 2018 in June.


U.S. military engineers install the firing range


Currently, intense works of installing the firing range are conducted in Kazlų Rūda. Military engineers with the Red Horse Company of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard are helping on site to prepare the training area for aviation exercises.


The Red Horse is an engineer unit of the United States Air Force. The unit uses heavy equipment, trucks, excavators, installs firing ranges if needed, constructs buildings from foundations to electricity power supply system.


“It is the specific of our unit that once per year we deploy for training purposes, not necessarily within the territory of the United States of America. This year we are here on the basis of an agreement with Lithuania. Our objective is to install a firing range properly and in line with all standards, so that Lithuanian and NATO allies are able to have appropriate conditions for combat training and exercises, Red Horse Company Commander Major Brian Hooven says.

Lithuanian companies are engaged just like in modernisation and infrastructure projects in other Lithuanian Armed Forces training areas. Red Horse military engineers are also renting equipment from a Lithuanian company .


The constructions in Kazlų Rūda are planned to be finished and certification to take place as soon as this autumn.


Once the work is finished, not only Lithuanian joint terminal attack controllers but also allied soldiers will be able to use Lithuanian and allied air capabilities to learn and train controlling air attacks while providing air support to land units, as well as using modern ammunition.


Development of the Lithuanian military training area infrastructure began in 2014. The main projects are currently implemented in two sites of state importance - Pabradė amd Gaižiūnai. The works of extension are expected to be completed by 2022.

2018-08-28 20:30


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