enhanced Vigilance Activity Brigade Lithuania (eVA Bde LTU)
The most important of the security assurances that Lithuania was given at the NATO Summit in Warsaw in June 2016 was the collective Alliance's decision to establish an enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltic States and Poland from 2017. It was aimed to unambiguously demonstrate, as part of NATO’s overall posture, the Allies' solidarity, determination, and ability to act by triggering an immediate Allied response to any aggression.
In addition to these NATO commitments, there are bi-national engagements to support and secure Lithuania. The latest of these bi-national commitments is the provision of an enhanced Vigilance Activity (eVA) Brigade. This commitment was announced by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a meeting with Lithuanian President Nauseda, following the NATO Summit in 2022. The eVA Brigade is a combat brigade from Germany that will be firmly integrated into Lithuania's defence planning. For a rapid and smooth build-up of forces, the forward command post was put into service in Rukla on 8 October 2022.
The first eVA Brigade Lithuania is actually the German Armoured Infantry Brigade 41 (Panzergrenadierbrigade 41 from Neubrandenburg) and is kept ready for action in Germany.
The mission of the brigade is threefold:
First, to keep itself operational in Germany. This is done through normal training and exercises, for example in the combat training centre of the German Army.
Second, to maintain a permanent coordination element in Lithuania in order to coordinate movements of the brigade for training, exercises and missions with the Lithuanian host nation. This is done through the Forward Command Element (FCE).
Third, to contribute to Lithuanian defence planning in order to be operationally ready for the defence of Lithuania. For this, the FCE stays in permanent contact and exchange with the Lithuanian Land Forces and gets reinforced by elements from the brigade’s staff in Germany, if necessary.
Brigadier General Christian Nawrat, Commander of Armoured Infantry Brigade 41 is also the Brigade Commander of the eVA Brigade Lithuania: “The foreseen commitment of the eVA Brigade is an important pillar of the Lithuanian defence planning. This fact is a great proof of trust – for all Germans and Allies!"
In October 2022, the FCE of the eVA Brigade participated in a Command Post Exercise as well as parts of the German Infantry Battalion 413 conducted the bi-national Operation Fast Griffin, a Field Training and Live Firing Exercise.
As there is a series of operations planned in 2023, the eVA Brigade several times will deploy combat vehicles, combat support and combat service support elements from Germany to Lithuania. This series started with the bi-national Operation Griffin Lightning, a Field Training and Live Firing Exercise, conducted by reinforced parts of the German Infantry Battalion 413 in March 2023. This will be followed by the bi-national Operation Griffin Storm in June and July 2023, which will be conducted by reinforced parts of the German Armoured Infantry Battalion 411. By using different modes of military transport, the eVA Brigade will standardize the deployment of the brigade's forces and boost its interoperability.