Chief of Defence of Germany Lieutenant General Eberhard Zorn is conducting a formal visit to Lithuania. Today he discussed military cooperation of Lithuania and Germany, activity of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group, exercises and joint projects at a meeting with Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys.
"Lithuania and Germany are bound together by a particularly successful and fruitful military cooperation. Germany contributes to the modernisation of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, shares experience at military exercises, invests into Lithuania's military infrastructure. Efforts of the Federal Republic of Germany constitutes a weighty contribution to a reliable and effective deterrence and ensurance of defence of our country and the whole Alliance," Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys said.
In his turn, Chief of Defence of Germany said that he took the security situation in the Baltic region seriously and security threats were continuously analysed, and stressed the appreciation of the excellently functioning transatlantic bond in the Baltic region.
Chief of Defence of Germany said when addressing military exercises that serious preparations were ongoing for the international Exercise Defender 2020 to be held in the Baltic region next year and stressed that the opportunity to work with the Lithuanian Armed Forces was appreciated.
Chief of Defence of the Bundeswehr Lt Gen Eberhard Zorn is visiting the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group based in Rukla and German military personnel serving in it. Germany has been the framework nation of the NATO eFP Battle Group since 2017 which means the country took up additional commitments: Germany is constantly deploying soldiers to carry our command and control functions of the NATO eFP Battle Group, to the Battle Group Headquarters, to units of the Support Company, and also one Maneuver Company.
The NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group deployed in Lithuania is a direct response to the aggressive and provocative Russian actions at the borders of NATO Alliance which led to decreased stability and security, increased unpredictability of the security situation, and shifts in the security environment. The Battle Group is formed by soldiers of Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, and Norway, and a civilian specialist delegated by Iceland.
According to data of a security opinion poll, 76% of respondents think that the NATO enhanced Forward Presence helps to deter hostile states.
Deployed to the Training Regiment in Rukla since the beginning of 2017, the multinational NATO eFP Battle Group is now integrated into the Mechanised Infantry Brigade. Over 8 thousand soldiers from 9 NATO allies have already served in the unit on a rotational basis over more than two years of its deployment.
Gen Eberhard Zorn also met with Vice Minister Eimutis Misiūnas, Commander of the NATO Force Integration Unit Col Jakob Søgård Larsen, Commander of the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf Col Mindaugas Petkevičius, and Commander of the NATO eFP Battle Group Lt Col Rouven Habel.
Today eFP soldiers are donating blood at a campaign organised by the National Blood Centre of the Lithuanian Health Science University Hospital Kaunas Clinics at the Lithuanian Great Hetman J.Radvila Training Regiment.
Later today the German Army Band Ulm will give an Advent concert in Jonava city at the invitation of the NATO eFP Battle Group, Chiefs of Defence of Lithuania and Germany will deliver addresses at the event.
Spokesperson for the Chief of Defence of Lithuania Maj Tomas Balkus
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Photo credits: Sgt Spc Ieva Budzeikaitė, Alfredas Pliadis