It has turned 15 years of Lithuania's participation in international operations on August 22. During the years Lithuania has made its contribution to operations conducted by the UN, the EU, OSCE, NATO and the international coalition in various regions - the Balkans, Persian Gulf, Central and South Asia, Caucasus.
On 22 August 1994 Lithuania deployed the first platoon to the UN-led peacekeeping operation in Croatia. After two years Lithuania joined NATO-led „Joint Endeavour" in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1996, in 1999 - NATO KFOR „Joint Guardian" operation in Kosovo. During the 15 years of presence in the Balkans Lithuanians have been enforcing public order, patrolling regions of responsibility, conducted duty in check-posts, provided assistance for humanitarian organisations and protection of objects, conducted quick reaction and other tasks. Lithuania has totally deployed around 1400 troops to international operations in the Balkan region.
In June 2009 the last platoon, KFOR-20, Lithuania contributes to the mission in Kosovo ended its rotation. 5 Lithuanian military instructors still serve in the NATO Training Team-Kosovo in the Balkan region who assist in training new security forces of Kosovo. One more officer serves in the EU-led operation „Althea" headquarters in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In 2003 Lithuanian troops were introduced into the „Iraqi Freedom" military operation led by the international coalition. Lithuanians served in a multinational division led by Poland in Al Hillah and Al Kut towns, and sector of responsibility of the Great Britain in the Danish Battalion near Basra. Lithuanian peacekeepers also served in various multinational staffs of the operation, made a contribution in the responsibility area of the multinational division led by Poland in the training mission of coalition forces in Ad-Diwaniyah province. Military medics and logistics specialists of Lithuanian Armed Forces conducted mission of humanitarian character in „Iraqi Freedom" operation. Currently four Lithuanians serve in the NATO-led Training Mission. Lithuania has deployed around 930 troops to Iraq since 2003.
Lithuania began sending personnel to multinational operations in Afghanistan in 2002. In 2002 -2006 took part in the USA-led counter-terrorist operation „Enduring Freedom", in 2005 the first Provincial Reconstruction Team under ISAF was sent to Afghanistan, province of Ghowr, on Lithuania's responsibility. Today participation in ISAF operation is one of Lithuania's priority international commitments. The main goal of PRT mission is supporting Afghan Central Government in extending its authority in the province, ensuring security, and creating environment suitable for provincial reconstruction. Despite 150 Lithuanians staff of PRT includes civilian and military members from Denmark, Georgia, Japan, the USA, Croatia, Romania, and Ukraine. Currently ninth rotation of PRT formed from Gen. Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion of Lithuanian Armed Forces ensures security in Ghowr.
Lithuanian Special Operations Squadron is deployed to ISAF mission in southern Afghanistan, province of Kandahar. Lithuanian staff officers also serve in headquarters of ISAF operation.
Troops of National Support Element of Lithuanian Armed Forces ensure logistic provision of civilian and military personnel deployed to Afghanistan from February 2009. Over 1700 Lithuanian military had been sent to Afghanistan in total during the seven years of engagement including current rotation.
When NATO Response Force was first activated in 2005 and sent to Pakistan to remove aftermath of an earthquake, Lithuanian water cleaning unit (officers and equipment) already assigned to NRF was sent to province of Arja.
In 1998-2009 Lithuanian troops were deployed to UN Military Observers mission in Georgia, 2000-2005 - to OSCE Border Monitoring Mission, and in 2005-2007 - to OSCE mission of Georgian border guard training.
Public Relations Officer of the Joint Staff Kristina Chlynova, phone 8 5 219 6401, cell phone. 8 686 35 407.
Pictures of Alfredas Pliadis and MoND archive.