From September 19 to 25 commander of the United States Pennsylvania National guard (PANG), Adjutant General of Pennsylvania Major General Mark J. Schindler with a delegation is visiting Lithuania. It is one of the three high-rank officer visits scheduled to Lithuania this week.
“The visit of the Adjutant General of Pennsylvania is especially important to those units that the PANG interacts with in some manner. I welcome the growth and expansion of the spectrum of cooperation across the different areas of responsibility of the Army, Air Force, Training and Doctrine Command. The number of joint events scheduled for this year has doubled, the PANG is also planned to contribute to the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group. Such financial, expert and interoperability experience makes our forces and, naturally, readiness comprehensively stronger,” said Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys.
Maj Gen Mark J. Schindler began his visit with meetings with Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas, Chief of Defence Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys, Chief of the Defence Staff Brig Gen Mindaugas Steponavičius, visited General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area in Pabradė. On September Adjutant General visited the Lithuanian Land Force Headquarters in Vilnius and met with Land Force Commander Brig Gen Raimundas Vaikšnoras and National Defence Volunteer Force Commander Col Linas Kubilius to discuss the running issues and plans ahead for joint military training and activities.
“”I am very grateful for such close ties between the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the United States Pennsylvania National Guard, that is very important for Lithuania’s efforts to strengthen its military capabilities. Lithuania and the PANG develop a particularly wide-spectrum cooperation, from strengthening cybersecurity to joint training and creation of new capabilities, such as the division-level command and control (C2) capability. We are grateful to the Pennsylvania National Guard for all the assistance that they are providing,” said Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas. Minister and Maj Gen M.J. Schindler discussed regional security, joint projects and further cooperation.
This is the first visit Maj Gen M. J. Schindler conducts to Lithuania in his present capacity assumed in December 2020; however, he has visited Lithuania before.
The Pennsylvania National Guard, one of the largest and oldest guard in the U.S. defence system, has a longstanding and close cooperation with the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The PANG has been rendering every kind of assistance to the Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Force, training Lithuanian instructors in the United States and in joint exercises with the Lithuanian Armed Forces for 28 years. The Lithuanian Land Force and the PANG 28 Infantry Division cooperates on the basis of the agreement signed in 2019 with a view to develop a division-level C2 capability within the Land Force HQ structure. The PANG also cooperates with the Lithuanian Air Force and the Training and Doctrine Command.
Photo credits: Sgt Spct 1st Class Ieva Budzeikaitė, Giedrė Maksimovicz-Alkema, Capt Paulius Babilas, Cpl Michail Lysenko