On March 26 deployment ceremony at Vytautas the Great War Museum Garden will be held and a holy mass celebrated at St. Michael the Archangel's Church (the Garrison Church) in Kaunas for the Lithuanian Land Force National Defence Volunteer Force contingent leaving for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Military personnel of Darius and Girėnas Military District of the National Defence Volunteer Force will deploy to the province of Gao in eastern part of Mali. In MINUSMA, Lithuanian military will operate in composition of the German company and ensure force protection within the compound of the operating base. It is the 11th rotation of the Force Protection Unit, formed by National Defence Volunteer Force personnel.
“The deploying military will be given Lithuanian flag and keepsakes, badges with the symbol of Vytis. Vytis, the knight with a raised sword is a symbol of the might of Lithuanian warriors and of the battle between darkness and the light. May the power and strength of our national symbol Vytis be the company of our envoys as they serve on a mission far from home. Best of military luck to all of you,” said Commander of the National Defence Volunteer Force Col Linas Kubilius.
Before deployment the troops completed a six-month training of base protection, identification of emerging threats, rendering first medical aid, and to act cohesively with German colleagues. Their readiness for the tasks has been certified by FPU-9 troops who deployed back home half a year ago and by members of the 2nd Territorial Unit of the NDVF who have previous experience of international deployments. Exercise Director Maj Robertas Šiuša underscored that the strength of the team while on service and in spare time was vital on a mission. The troops were advised to resist the heat of the sun of Africa and of routine and to remain vigialnt and motivated throughout the deployment.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) was launched in July 2013. The first Force Protection Unit formed by the National Defence Volunteer Force deployed to Mali in October 2017. The current contingent will replace PFU-10 formed by the 3rd Territorial Unit of the Žemaičiai Military District of the National Defence Volunteer Force (based in Klaipėda).
Lt Lina Sindaraitė, PAO for the NDVF,
+370 618 40469, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credits: Cpl Michail Lysenko