Lithuanian forces train in JEF-coordinated manoeuvres in the Baltic Sea

Lithuanian forces train in JEF-coordinated manoeuvres in the Baltic Sea

This week Lithuanian Navy Flotilla Headquarters and ships under its command, LNS Jotvingis (N42) and LNS Sėlis (P15) and a Lithuanian Air Force helicopter are training in maritime drills in the Baltic Sea coordinated by the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF). The exercise began in early March and highlights joint military training Lithuanian and allied forces and the continued maintenance of readiness despite the COVID-related restrictions.   

“The United Kingdom-led Joint Expeditionary Force are already demonstrating excellent readiness to complete designated tasks, deter adversaries, and to contribute to international security and regional stability,” Commander of the Naval Flotilla Cdr Tadas Jablonskis said.

The United Kingdom established the Joint Expeditionary Force in the wake of increasingly aggressive Russian actions in Ukraine  and invited other countries to join. The JEF Foundation Memorandum of Understanding was signed by seven Ministers of Defence in 2015.  To date, the JEF includes nine partner nations, mostly from the Baltic Sea region: Denmark, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Norway, the Netherlands, Finland, and Sweden.

Partner nations contribute capabilities depending on the operation on a voluntary basis. The JEF maintains high readiness, conducts intense training, and takes part in exercises. If needed, the capabilities can be deployed to any type of operation led by NATO, EU, or the UN. Its uniqueness lies with its ability to respond to evident interventions, when a very short response time is necessary, at no notice together with whichever nation expresses a wish to.

The JEF exercises according to its annual training cycle, carries out regular command post and field training events to which Lithuania deploys Navy capabilities. Military training is carried out in other Baltic countries too. The JEF operates in full compliance with NATO combat readiness, alert level and certification requirements.  

The JEF project also encompasses the maritime dimension that needs to be strengthened in the Baltic region. The ongoing exercise, as well as such exercises as BaltOps where JEF capabilities are deployed to train large-scale amphibious landings, underlines the JEF contribution to a stronger security and deterrence against potential aggressors in the region.

Photo and information credits: Lithuanian Navy