Chief of Defence conducts a working visit to Italy

Chief of Defence conducts a working visit to Italy

On April 9-10 Chief of Defence General Valdemaras Rupšys is on a work trip in Italy to meet with Chief of Defence of the Republic of Italy Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone. Chiefs of Defence will discuss Italy’s contribution to the NATO Air Policing Mission and implementation of the Rotational NATO Air Defence Model, military cooperation developed through deployments of Italy’s military personnel to train in Lithuanian Armed Forces exercises.   

Admiral G. C. Dragone paid a work visit to Lithuania in December. The topics addressed featured cooperation in the area of military aviation, training and instructing Lithuanian Air Force pilots, Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC), logistical support to Spartan cargo aircraft operation and in the overall, contributing to the improvement of Lithuania’s military aviation.  Chief of Defence of Italy then noted that the NATO Air Policing Mission was an opportunity for the Italian military personnel to improve skills in real-life conditions.   

In 2015 Italian airmen carried out their first ever NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic states with four Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets flown from the Lithuanian Air Force Base in Šiauliai.  Italy's next missions are planned to come in 2024 and 2025, based at Šiauliai as well. Lithuania signed contract with an Italian enterprise in 2006 on acquisition of three transport aircraft C-27J Spartan. The equipment has completed numerous state assignments since.   

Lithuanian military specialists are undergoing training in the Italian Armed Forces, a high-ranking Italian officer is deployed with the NATO Force Integration Unit in Vilnius, the country also contributes to the NATO Energy Security of Excellence in Lithuania. On its behalf, on the basis of the security situation and challenges in the Mediterranean, the Lithuanian Armed Forces joined EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia in 2015. Operation objectives were later transferred to Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI.

Italy consistently contributes to security in the Baltic region with troop deployments to the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group Latvia, the units currently includes 260 Italian infantrymen and other military specialists.  Over thousand Italian military personnel is deployed to other eastern Allies: Bulgaria, Slovakia and Hungary.   

Photo credit: A.Pliadis