The territory of Lithuania will be defended, Supreme Allied Commander Europe says

The territory of Lithuania will be defended, Supreme Allied Commander Europe says

U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander (SACEUR) General Christopher G. Cavoli paid a visit to Lithuania on March 29. He met with President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda, Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas and Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys.

“Accept my greetings on the 19th anniversary of NATO membership. It’s a pleasure to see a growing and strengthening Lithuanian Armed Forces. As we discuss our defence plans today, I can tell you for sure, the territory of Lithuania will be defended,” said SACEUR Gen Ch. G. Cavoli.

As the U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander (SACEUR), Gen Christopher G. Cavoli provides command and control of all strategic level NATO operations and exercises in Europe and sets the strategic military direction to his NATO Chain of Command subordinate commanders through the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, SHAPE, deployed in Mons, Belgium. As Commander of the U.S. European Command, Gen Cavoli ensures readiness of the force for the wide spectrum military missions and exercises in concert with Allies and partners in Europe in defence of the national interest of the United States and support of those of Europe.

“I have underscored to General Cavoli the importance of the Allied Brigade on the ground bearing in mind the certain security situation and position of our region. We have also discussed defence plans, as well as ammunition and equipment pre-positioning. I have no doubt that everything necessary is being done to ensure NATO’s Forward Defence,” said Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas.

At the meeting with Chief of Defence Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys the guest discussed regional security, joint operations, generation and deployment of rotational air defence capabilities. Generals focused on the regional defence plans, development of Lithuanian Armed Forces capabilities and their integration in the NATO regional defence plans.

“It is a particular pleasure to have General Christopher G. Cavoli in Lithuania on the day we celebrate our NATO accession. I am grateful to him for being together and that today we are united as much as we would be on any occasion as long as security is concerned. We have also discussed the new force model and force generation for the deterrence and defence in NATO area plan family. Lithuania is an equal Ally where regional plans are put together. Such meetings are vital for the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the state,” underscored Lt Gen V. Rupšys presenting SACEUR with the world’s most miniature challenge coin for his dedication to a stronger Lithuania’s security and the partnership between NATO, United States and Lithuania. The unique and only specimen made of a 1.9 mm-diameter glass coin was manufactured by Femtika Enterprise using state-of-the art selective laser etching technology. The coin symbolizes a nation great in its spirit who was able to win its freedom and therefore has the opportunity to create unique scientific products and exceptional technologies.

Gen Cavoli later delivered a keynote address at the commemoration of Lithuania’s 19th NATO membership anniversary at the Bastion of Vilnius City Defensive Wall. Alongside other six European countries, on 29 March 2004 Lithuania became a member of NATO and a part of a united Alliance ready to respond to any crisis and defend every inch of the territory of Lithuania and the entire Alliance. NATO Allies have been consistently strengthening deterrence and defence in the eastern flank of NATO in the recent year: deployed 40 000 high-readiness personnel with significant air and maritime defensive capabilities and doubled the number of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Groups in the region from four to eight, and set in place the possibility to increase eFP size to brigade level NATO Allies are also rendering unprecedented assistance to Ukraine – from tanks, heavy weaponry and troop training to other critical assistance, such as food, fuel and medical supplies.

Photo credit: SSgt Spc Ieva Budzeikaitė | LITHAF