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Commander of the USA Pennsylvania National Guard Maj. Gen. Jessica L. Wright visits Lithuania

2009.06.30
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Commander of the Pennsylvania National Guard Maj. Gen. Jessica L. Wright will be visiting Lithuania from July 1 to 6.

On July 1 Maj. Gen. Jessica L. Wright will meet with the Minister of National Defence Rasa Juknevičienė and Vice Minister Rimas Jonaitis at the Lithuanian MoND, later the guest will go to the Joint Staff Headquarters to meet with Head of Staff Brig. Gen. Algis Vaičeliūnas.

In the meetings the officials plan to discuss possible areas of cooperation with the Lithuanian-led Chaghcharan PRT and guidelines of further partnership. The US General will be awarded with the National Defence System Medal of Merit for personal contribution and merits in developing cooperation between Lithuanian and the US Armed Forces.

The guest will also visit National Defence Volunteer Force and meet with Commander NDVF Col. Antanas Plieskis.

On July 2 Maj. Gen. J. L. Wright will tour Lithuanian Air Force Airspace Control Centre in Kaunas, Motorised Infantry Brigade „Iron Wolf" deployed in Rukla (Jonava Distr.), MD Jonas Basanavičius Military Medical Service (Kaunas), and Vytautas the Great War Museum, she will lay flowers at the Memorial for the Unknown Soldiers.

On July 6 Commander of the USA Pennsylvania National Guard will participate in commemorative events of the Day of King Mindaugas' Coronation, and the Millennium of the Name of Lithuania.

Commander of the USA Pennsylvania National Guard Maj. Gen. J. L. Wright will come to Lithuania for a third time. The guest arrives by invitation of the Chief of Defence Staff Brig. Gen. A. Vaičeliūnas.

Lithuanian Armed Forces launched cooperation with the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1993. The main activities are developed between PNG and the Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Force. Lithuanian soldiers are invited to take part in military exercise in the USA, PNG send their instructors and supervisors to Lithuania.

Pennsylvania National Guard
The Guard is made of land (around 21 thousand members) and air guard elements (around 4 thousand members). It the biggest national guard in the USA.

Service is not the main occupation of members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, they have civilian carriers. But regardless of that, it is a high-readiness branch of the US Army that has taken part in every war ever fought by the USA usually making up the majority of armed capabilities. In 2006 the Pennsylvania National Guard celebrated its 370th anniversary.

Units of PNG are integrated into the Active Army of the US. National Guard may be called in to supplement regular forces in active service in case of war or any other emergency upon the decision of the Congress, the President or the Secretary of Defence.

75 thousand of PNG members were called into the Operation Desert Storm in 1991 in the Persian Gulf. Troops of National Guards had been invited to conduct crisis management actions in Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq ever since. After the 2001 September 11 over 50 thousand of members of national guards were invoked to support the „Homeguard Security" programme and battle terrorism in the country.

Military carrier of Maj. Gen. J. L. Wright
Military carrier of J. L. Wright began in 1975 when she entered Pennsylvania National Guard after obtaining her BA in Social Work at Alderson and Broaddus College. The General is also a Master of Arts in Management (Webster University).

J. L. Wright received her first assignment as Press Officer, Headquarters Detachment, of the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1975. After training at the Flight School, she served with the 228th Aviation Company, later with the 28th Aviation Battalion, 1028th Transportation Company, Eastern Army Aviation Training Site, Annville , Flight Operations Platoon Commander, 1160th Transportation Company in the State of Georgia.

In 1986 J. L. Wright joined the National Guard and Reserve Programme and was assigned as Assistant Professor of Military Science at Georgia Southern University. She was transferred to the Headquarters of the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1989.

From January to November 1997 General J. L. Wright was in charge of the 28th Combat Aviation Brigade, 28th Infantry Division. J. L. Wright was the first female soldier in the USA to command a brigade.

Before being commissioned as the Assistant Adjutant General-Army, J. L. Wright served as the USA State Army Aviation Officer.

Rank of Brigadier General was bestowed upon J. L. Wright on 7 June 2001. She was the first female member of the Pennsylvania National Guard to become a General. On 28 April 2005 J. L. Wright was promoted to Major General.

Source of picture: http://www.ngb.army.mil/ngbgomo/library/bio/1162.htm

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