12th rotation of peacekeepers ready for mission in Afghanistan

12th rotation of peacekeepers ready for mission in Afghanistan

October 1, active phase of evaluation exercise of Ghor Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT-12) before deployment to Afghanistan held in Kazlų Rūda Military Area ended.


During the exercise troops' readiness was tested to conduct mission-area tasks: movement of units, evacuation of the injured, coordination of work with local governmental and non-governmental organizations, representatives of administration, response to possible emergency situations, such as riot of local people, road attacks with explosive devices, firing at the camp, etc.


Evaluation team representing various units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces certified PRT-12 (mainly manned by the Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion of the Motorised Infantry Brigade „Iron Wolf") ready for deployment.


Around two and a half of hundred troops were involved in the exercise, including soldiers from Ukraine who will join PRT-12.


Commander Land Force Maj Gen Jonas Vytautas Žukas, who observed the exercise, stressed that soldiers to be deployed have been serving for years together, know each others characters and are capable of team-work. In the beginning of this year they were assigned for the half-year duty in NATO Response Force and their readiness won top evaluations. „Now your task is to put all the skills perfected in the exercise to test in reality, mission area", said Maj Gen J. Žukas addressing soldiers „You will have to bear the responsibility of preserving the positive Lithuania's image that has been formed among Ghor people in Afghanistan during the latter years", emphasized General.


The exercise is organised by the leadership of the Lithuanian Land Force. Conductor of the exercise and coordinator of the assessing team is Chief of Staff of the Motorised Infantry Brigade „Iron Wolf" Lt Col Alvydas Šiuparis.


The majority of organisers, observers and evaluators have already conducted duty in the Lithuanian-led PRT in Afghanistan and have skills and experience necessary to ensure that the training exercise is as close to real circumstances in Afghanistan, operation region, as possible.


PRT-12 is formed on the basis of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion of the Motorised Infantry Brigade „Iron Wolf". The 12th shift will be deployed to Afghanistan after a half year of training in November. Troops of Algirdas Battalion will take part in a multinational mission for a second time. Combat flag of the Battalion flew in the camp of Lithuanian in Chaghcharan in 2006.


The Lithuanian-led PRT in Ghor is a joint civilian-military mission, a part of NATO's ISAF, that was launched in Ghor in summer of 2005. The main task of the mission is to help Government of Afghanistan to extend authority in the province, ensure security and create environment for provincial reconstruction.


Ghor, located in the central part of Afghanistan, is one of the safest provinces because of its geographical position and underdeveloped infrastructure. Despite security situation in Ghor which is described as relatively safe, insurgent movement is sometimes spotted there as well.


At the moment the 11th rotation of the Lithuanian-led PRT serve in Afghanistan, the shift is based on the Lithuanian Grand Duke Kęstutis Motorised Infantry Battalion located in Tauragės Distr. Kęstutis Battalion provides personnel for the PRT mission for a second time. The majority of personnel in the shift have been deployed to multinational missions in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan previously.


Representatives of Denmark, Georgia, Japan, USA, Poland, Finland and Ukraine serve together with Lithuanian military and civilian personnel in Ghor PRT camp in Chaghcharan.


PIO of „PRT-12 Challenge" 1st Lt Skomantas Povilionis

Pictures by Cpl Vilius Džiavečka

Troops and Commander PRT-12 Lt COl Remigijus Baltrėnas.
Troops of PRT-12
Commander Land Force Maj Gen Jonas Žukas and Commander MIB „Iron Wolf"Col Vilmantas Tamošaitis.