On February 15 a team of military service members with the Lithuanian Armed Forces Air Defence Battalion left for Ukraine. They will train their Ukrainian colleagues to master the Stinger short-range air defence systems transferred by Lithuania over the next several weeks.
“Ukraine had, has and will have our comprehensive support. Weaponry and equipment are null without the handling expertise, therefore we are sharing know-how an knowledge together with the Stinger short-range air defence systems. It is also important that we are learning from Ukraine’s experience as well: the country is still at war, they have fresh skills that are vital for our defence,” said Chief of Defence Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys.
The troops who will train Ukrainians have served for a long time in the units of the Air Defence Battalion that operate Stinger weaponry. They will transfer to the Ukrainians the experience Lithuania gained over more than a decade using the air defence systems. Lithuanian soldiers are also conducting a training mission in Ukraine for instructors of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The consignment of Stinger systems was flown to Ukraine from Šiauliai Air Base of the Lithuanian Armed Forces on February 13. The transfer of weaponry systems, used by the Lithuanian Armed Forces to that point, was enabled by the consent of the U.S. Government to hand over U.S.-made equipment to a third state.