On November 26 Defence Attaché of Sweden to Lithuania Lt Col Lars Eklind paid a visit to the National Defence Volunteer Force. At a meeting with Commander NDVF Col Linas Kubilius he was briefed on the history of NDFV development, its organization structure, mission and asks, capabilities and the challenges that the latest domestic support tasks present – assistance to the National Public Health Centre and the State Border Guard Service.
“The Lithuanian and the Swedish volunteer forces have had cooperation for over 20 years now. Our troops have adopted some of the Swedish tactical, engineer, fire and communications elements. We are ready for further constructive cooperation,” Commander NDVF Col Linas Kubilius said.
Sweden is famous for its territorial defence model and readiness for territorial defence. At the beginning of cooperation, NDVF officers would undergo battalion command courses at the Swedish National Home Guard Combat School in order to study the Swedish territorial defence model. Since 2001, the National Home Guard Combat School has been training Lithuanian NDVF company commanders to enhanced their skills of company commander leadership. The Swedish Women's Voluntary Defence Organization Lottorna organised courses of management, first medical aid and survival for the NDVF women personnel. NDVF servicemembers would be able to undergo a special selection to study at Swedens military schools and acquire infantry or engineer platoon leader qualifications.
Direct cooperation between the NDFV territorial units and the Swedish Home Guard resulted in a large number of NDVF service members becoming familiar with the volunteer force training system of another country, its akin structure, and being able to compare and assess. Aside from the cooperation on combat training, relations are developed in such areas as sports and culture. The Swedes have been competing at NDVF sports games since 1999. Delegations were exchanged and different events attended. In the NDVF arsenal was supplement with anti-armor artillery: 1110 (M60) 90 mm recoilless guns were given by Sweden and successfully used for nearly two next decades.
Photo credit: Lt Lina Sindaraitė