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Schengen border crossing procedures tested

2018.06.06
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Exercise Saber Strike 2018 for the first time tests procedures put in place for crossing the Schengen space borders – it is both a trial and generation of new formulas not only in: Lithuania but also in neighbouring countries. It is the first time US forces are crossing over to the Schengen area both on land and by sea, in Nemirseta, and by para jump,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said.

 

Late in the evening of June 6 first large columns of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, US Army, will enter Lithuania’s territory and the phase of the largest military movement in our country so far will begin. It is a part of international Exercise Saber Strike 2018.

 

In total, roughly 40 military columns will enter over the next three nights of June 6-9, which is over a thousand military vehicles and up to 3 thousand American soldiers.

 

Over the first night of deployment on June 6 up to 15 columns containing up to 30 military vehicles are planned to enter the territory of Lithuania. The movement is planned via Kalvarijos cordon post , and another and smaller part – via Lazdijai cordon post. All columns will be escorted by Lithuanian Military Police vehicles, the last column should leave the border area before 1000hrs in the morning. The order and scope of military movement over the next two nights will be the same.

 

All the columns crossing Lithuania will be going to Kazlų Rūda Training Area where the Lithuanian Armed Forces have a base prepared to host the US troops and equipment. Soldiers will have conditions to rest and prepare vehicles for further movement. On June 9 apart of the columns will proceed to the Lithuanian Armed Forces Gaižiūnai Training Area to take part in Exercise Saber Strike 2018.

 

The guest forces will be returning to their homebases on June 18-21.

 

For local residents

 

Lithuanian residents are urged to take into account their journeys may take longer because of intense military equipment traffic if they are planning to travel on the abovementioned days, i.e., June 6-9 and June 18-21, via Lazdijai and Kalvarijos border-crossing posts. However, Lithuanian citizens planning to travel (particularly to Poland) are invited to take into account the given dates and chose another time for crossing the Lithuanian-Polish border, or at least not to travel during the dark part of the day when the military equipment movement is the most intense.

 

Movement of the columns is carefully planned by representatives of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and other Lithuanian state institutions. On the territory of Lithuania the columns will be divided into smaller ones of up to 30 vehicles, the most intense movement is planned for the dark part of the day, every column will be escorted by Lithuanian Military Police teams for regulating traffic and ensuring safety, in order to minimize the inconvenience to civilian residents.

 

For the Media

 

Media representatives will be able to interview US and Lithuanian participants of Exercise Saber Strike 2018 and join the Military Police crews escorting the military columns.

 

Those willing to avail of the opportunity need to register until June 6, 1400hrs at [email protected] , limited number of media representatives will be accommodated.

 

Media representatives willing to take interviews on June 7 in Kazlų Rūda Raining Area should register until 1700hrs, June 6 at [email protected]

 

Foreign media representatives as well as freelance media should apply for accreditation with the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence at [email protected] by filling in the questionnaire form and sending it together with copies of an ID document and document from the media outlet the information will be used.

 

POC: Captain Tomas Pakalniškis +370 657 61 271, [email protected]

 

Photo: movement of military vehicles to previous exercises (MoD archive)

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