Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army paid a visit to Lithuania

Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army paid a visit to Lithuania

On April 10 Chief of Defence of the Republic of Lithuania Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys welcomed Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen James C. McConville to Lithuania. At the meeting, the security situation in the region, aspects of defensibility of Lithuania and deterrence, U.S. financial and military assistance in the efforts to strengthen our national capabilities were discussed.

Lithuania’s Chief of Defence underscored that the United States was one of Lithuania’s strategic Allies whose firm shoulder had been there for us since the re-establishment of independence. The contribution and role of the United States today is as important as it has ever been for the security of defence of the whole Eastern flank of NATO and of Lithuania.

One of the ways in which the United States of America responded to the Russian military aggression in Ukraine and the changed security situation by the eastern borders of the Alliance was a decision to allocate an additional USD 180 million as the Baltic Security Assistance and to increase the number of military personnel and equipment in Lithuania. The assistance rendered since 2015 by the Unite States amounts to USD 350 million.

The possibility for Lithuania to acquire the Javelin medium-range anti-armor missile systems, radars, combat drones, anti-tank mines is a subject of talks with the U.S. Government currently, and the procedures of acquisition of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicles and other equipment and weaponry is ongoing.

Yet another topical point at the meeting was the Host National Support Lithuania retendered. Lithuania is conducting constructions of three additional camps for allied troops at Pabradė, Marijampolė and Kazlų Rūda planned to be completed shortly in order to expand the Host Nation Support capacity in welcoming larger numbers of U.S. and NATO forces to its territory.

Lithuanian Chief of Defence and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army addressed assistance to Ukraine as well. The Lithuanian Armed Forces will be delivering training on the territory of Lithuania for instructors of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on operating Western weaponry and equipment.

Other topics addressed at the meeting were joint exercises and military training. According to Chief of Defence, multinational exercises, such as Saber Strike and Defender, were crucial for honing interoperability among different NATO allies, maintaining high combat readiness and developing skills for an effective use of the most advanced equipment. The three decades of friendship between the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the Pennsylvania National Guard was mentioned as a success story in such cooperation: the forces collaborate on pilot, soldier and instructor training, exchange best practice with the National Defence Volunteer Force, and implement bilateral projects.

Information credits: LITHAF

Photo credits: Sgt Spc 1st Class Ieva Budzeikaitė and the Lithuanian Land Force