Lithuania's Chief of Defence and Land Force Commander visited Lithuanian soldiers on training in the United States

Lithuania's Chief of Defence and Land Force Commander visited Lithuanian soldiers on...

On August 11 Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas and Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force Valdemaras Rupšys, on formal visits in the US, visited soldiers of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Battalion and assigned units training at Fort Irwin Training Area and the National Training Centre of the United States.

Lithuanian Generals, escorted by Adjutant-General of Pennsylvania Major General Anthony J. Carelli, viewed the infrastructure of Fort Irwin National Training Centre , familiarised with the course and concept of Pennsylvania National Guard Exercise NTC 18.9 that Lithuanians are also training in, talked to soldiers.


"We are the NATO force, therefore we have to stand ready to act anywhere and in any conditions. The experience our soldiers are gaining here, training in conditions unknown and unusual to us - in a desert and wearing heat, is really invaluable. I am grateful to our allies for providing good training conditions and benevolent sharing of experience," Chief of Defence Lt Gen J. V. Žukas said.


Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force Brig Gen V. Rupšys said he was happy with the motivation and professionalism of the soldiers and noted the positive response from the allies to the soldiers' professionalism and dedication.


Exercise NTC 18.9 is running on August 4-17. The Lithuanian company is rehearsing offensive, defensive, and stability operations alongside allies of the Pennsylvania National Guard, learn to operate IFVs, about procedures, weaponry and equipment of their allies.


Chief of Defence is conducting a visit in the United States on August 9 -17 and Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force - on August 5 -13.


Key events of Lt Gen J.V.Žukas' visit in the US will take place on August 14-15 in Washington. He will meet with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., ), Commandant of the Marine Corps General Robert B. Neller, and Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau Lieutenant General Daniel R. Hokanson. The meetings are planned to address bilateral and multilateral cooperation results and prospects and US Army plans in Europe.

Also, on August 14 Lt Gen J. V. Žukas will visit the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the US to share insights on the security situation in the Baltic Region, present situation and development plans of the Lithuanian Armed Forces to the Lithuanian American community.


The US commitment to the security in the region and visibility in Lithuania and the region is one of the most essential guarantees of security and stability of Lithuania. Both on a bilateral bass and adhering to NATO efforts, the United States is implementing broad deterrence measures in the Baltic region. The United States was the first ally to deploy air defence reinforcement - additional fighter aircraft and capabilities for persistent presence in the Baltic states, when the security situation changed in the region and Europe in spring 2014. US soldiers are training in military exercises and other military cooperation events held in Lithuania. The US also leads a NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Poland to strengthen the eastern flank of the Alliance. Defence cooperation between Lithuania and the US particularly intensified with signing a cooperation agreement in January 2017. The document reiterates both countries' commitment to work together to strengthen the NATO alliance, to increase European security, and to fight global security threats.


Photo credits: Sgt A. Čemerka and Ž. M. Vaicekauskaitė


Spokesperson for the Chief of Defence of Lithuania Maj Mindaugas Neimontas, +370 5 278 5091, +370 682 25359, mindaugas.neimontas@mil.lt