Boarding Team deployed to the Mediterranean

Boarding Team deployed to the Mediterranean

On March 14 deployment ceremony was held at the Lithuanian Navy Flotilla HQ for Lithuania’s 5th rotation of the Vessel Boarding Team (VBT) leaving for the European Union Naval Force Mediterranean Operation IRINI (EUNAVFOR MED IRINI) to prevent illegal migrant transfer from Africa to Europe and enforce arms embargo to Libya.

Commander of the Lithuanian Navy Captain (N) Giedrius Premeneckas, Commander of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Military Police Lt Col Raimondas Ivanauskas, Senior Chaplain of Klaipėda Garrison Cdr Remigijus Monstvilas, representatives of the Military Medical Service and the Special Operations Forces were present at the ceremony alongside the deploying troops and Navy unit commanding officers and personnel.

“We are a part of the European Union and thus contributing to common European Union efforts to ensure security of Europe by deploying to the international operation IRINI in the Mediterranean. The Vessel Boarding Team will act aboard a German warship alongside partners amidst a real-world crisis and threats which will give them skills and competences necessary for further development of our service. You have been given the privilege and responsibility to represent the Lithuanian Navy, do so dutifully,” noted Commander of the Navy Captain (N) Giedrius Premeneckas at the ceremony.

Commander of the Navy presented to Commander of the VBT the flag of the Republic of Lithuania which will be flown to signify presence of the Lithuanian Armed Forces in the operation. All the unit were given keepsake Vytis badges.

The 5th VBT rotation of the Lithuanian Armed Forces underwent pre-deployment training for EUNAVFOR MED IRINI in 2022-23. The eleven-strong unit is commanded by PO1 Gediminas Prūsevičius and formed by various services – Navy, Military Police, Special Operations Forces, MD Jonas Basanavičius Military Medical Service. The unit will deploy to Germany on April 18 to undergo three more weeks of training with the crew of the FGS BONN (A 1413) replenishment and command vessel of the Germany Navy. They will deploy to the area of operation in April and carry out EUNAVFOR MED IRINI assignments until later June. Their tasks on Operation IRINI will be identification of ships suspected of illicit arms or migrant transportation, hailing, boarding, inspection and diversion.


The Council of the European Union launched the European Union Naval Force Mediterranean – Operation IRINI on 31 March 2020 to contribute to the enforcement of the United Nations arms embargo on Libya by inspecting ships on the high seas off the coasts of Libya that are suspected of transporting arms and relate articles to and from Libya in violation of the arms embargo. The operation mandate encompasses surveillance of information about the illicit export of petroleum and it products from Libya, contribution to the development of the capacities and training of the Libyan Coast Guard and Navy and disruption of the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks. Resolution No. 2292 of the United Nations Security Council condemns arms trafficking from and to Libya and mandates member states to conduct inspections at national level or with international organisations, to seize and divert ships in case they are suspected of illicit arms transportation.

That is achieved by patrolling, information gathering, detection and inspection of suspect ships.

The mandate approved by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania allows up to 20 civilian and military personnel of the National Defence System to be sent to EUNAVFOR MED IRINI.

PO3 Akvilė Bertulė