Chief of Defence to attend Nordic-Baltic CHODs meeting

Chief of Defence to attend Nordic-Baltic CHODs meeting

On February 5 Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys will attend annual Nordic-Baltic Chiefs of Defence meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark. Counterparts of Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Norway, Finland, and Sweden, and Director General of the Defence Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iceland will discuss relevant issues to the region and common military cooperation projects at the event.

The officials will take stock of the results achieved in the Nordic-Baltic practical military cooperation last year and discuss priorities for the year ahead. Chiefs of Defence will also address regional security situation, topicalities of their respective militaries, and prospects for developing cooperation in the Baltic Sea region further.

The Nordic and Baltic Chiefs of Defence meet once a year in one of the countries in the format on a rotational basis. Last year Sweden hosted the event as the chair country of the NORDEFCO, this year the duties pass over to Denmark. Such meetings were held in Lithuania in 2007 and 2013, and another is planned to be organized in 2021 again.

Constructive defence cooperation between Nordic and Baltic countries has been developed since the foundation of the Baltic Security Assistance Forum (BALTSEA) in 1997. When the Lithuanian Armed Forces was re-established, the Scandinavian countries would provide support in upgrading equipment and training personnel. Quite a number of Lithuanian soldiers graduated from various elongated professional development courses in the Scandinavian countries. The Iron Wolf Brigade was affiliated to the Danish Division and trained as part of it the since 2006. The countries' navies also actively cooperate and train together in the Baltic Sea.

The Nordic countries are also supporting various trilateral Baltic defence cooperation projects. Norway and Denmark deployed air personnel and assets to the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic States; Lithuanian soldiers have been performing standbys for European Union Battlegroups together with troops from the Nordic and Baltic countries since 2010. In 2015 they were on standby for the Swedish-led EU Nordic Battlegroup, in the second semester of 2016 - for the British-led EU Battlegroup together with military personnel from Ireland, Latvia, Finland, and Sweden.

Since 2015, Lithuania contributes to the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), a capability for responding to wide-spectrum operations in any part of the globe, alongside Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, and Norway. The JEF reached Full Operational Capability in 2018.

Spokesperson for the Chief of Defence Maj Tomas Balkus
+370 5 278 5091, +370 682 25359, tomas.balkus@mil.lt

Photo credits: Sgt Spc Ieva Budzeikaitė