On July 7 Lithuanian Armed Forces Medals for Mutual Support were presented for the successful service in the rotational U.S. force in the Republic of Lithuania to Commander of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, U.S. Army, Lt Col Steven Jackowski, Command Sgt Maj Jesus Pena, and the first troops to redeploy home, at a ceremony in Klaipėda Container Terminal Smeltė. Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force Motorized Infantry Brigade Griffin Col Nerijus Stankevičius thanked the Battalion top command and personnel for excellent service, joint exercises wit Lithuanian units, and wished safe travel home.
“I thank you from the bottom of my heart, brothers and sisters- in-arms for your presence here, on the soil of Lithuania. We have trained side by side, learned from each other, and honed our skills together. We have become a synchronized united force that deters the enemy and strikes hard if necessary. I wish you every success in your future service and personal lives. I wish you luck in your future tasks and operations wherever on the globe they might be. I know that if we meet again in an exercise or a battle, we will feel each other’s friendly shoulder and brotherly support at once. I have a very special appreciation for that,” said Col N. Stankevičius bidding farewell for 2-8 Cav. Reg. troops.
The U.S. rotation deployed in Lithuania in mid-December in 2020 and were training with the Lithuanian armed Forces till July as part of the U.S. Army Operation Atlantic Resolve in the southern part of the Alliance. 2-8 Cav. Reg. train in different training events with battalions of the MIB Griffin, separate companies, and other Lithuanian Armed Forces units. A part of the rotation also deployed with equipment to exercises in Latvia, Estonia and Hungary. It is a demonstration of United States commitments to collective defence as NATO allies are ensuring security in Europe due to the aggressive Russian action in Ukraine.
U.S. Army military personnel have been rotating to train in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe since spring 2014.
Information and photo credits: MIB Griffin