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Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic observed a joint Czech-Lithuanian training event


Video report   


On March 1 Minister of Defence Martin Stropnický and Chief of Defence General Josef Becvar of the Czech Republic conducted a working visit to Lithuania to observe Czech soldiers training side by side with Lithuanians.


“Joint exercises with our allies are a vital condition for improving interaction and military readiness. Also, the new urban warfare training facility allows soldiers to adapt to modern kind of conflicts in populated areas,” Commander of the Motorised Infantry Brigade Žemaitija Colonel Artūras Radvilas said.


The guests observed a joint military exercise of Czech rotational and Lithuanian Grand Duke Kęstutis Mechanised Infantry Battalion, Motorised Infantry Brigade Žemaitija, troops at the Lithuanian Armed Forces Urban Warfare Facility at General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area in Pabradė. The troops were practicing populated area assault and building clearing techniques.


Roughly 140 soldiers of the Continuous Mandatory Initial Military Service are training in the exercise alongside the Czech rotational troops. It is the largest training event that the conscripts called up seven months ago to the Lithuanian Grand Duke Kęstutis Battalion take part in. Another 100 participants are Czech soldiers.


The training event was also observed by Vice Minister of National Defence Vytautas Umbrasas, Chief of Defence of the Joint Staff of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, Commander of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Kęstutis Mechanised Infantry Battalion Major Andrius Jagminas, commanders of other units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.


Later in the day the Czech Defence Minister met with his Lithuanian counterpart Raimundas Karoblis and Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen Jonas Vytautas Žukas at Vilnius Airport.


Roughly 150 Czech soldiers were deployed in Lithuania in early January as a rotational force implementing the NATO assurance measures in the Baltic states. They will train in joint exercises with Lithuanian soldiers until mid-March. The presence and joint training of Czech troops with Lithuanians not only boost interoperability and readiness but also sends a signal of Alliance solidarity and serves an important measure of deterrence.


The bulk of the rotational troops serve with 1st Infantry Company from 74th Light Motorised Battalion (based in garrison town Bucovice). Throughout the rotation time the Czech soldiers will be based at the Lithuanian Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion in Klaipėda and train alongside military personnel of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Kęstutis Mechanised Infantry Battalion based in Tauragė district.


This is the first time Czech rotational forces are deployed for several months of training in Lithuania.


As NATO strengthens deterrence measures agreed in spring 2014 for the Baltic region, company-sized units of the US Army rotate in Lithuania, also, companies from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Hungary Luxembourg, Poland, and Portugal have carried out several month-long training deployments in our country.


Photo credits: Giedrė Maksimovic, Captain Donatas Suchockis


Video report by Private Recruit Lukas Tamošiūnas

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