Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys met with Chief of Defence of Norway Gen Eirik Kristoffersen during a formal visit to the country. Generals discussed strengthening of the bilateral military cooperation, geopolitical changes and the security situation in the eastern flank of the Alliance, as well as assistance to Ukraine.
Chief of Defence was able to observe NASAMS mid-range air defence systems live fire exercise at Andøya military range. The new generation High Mobility Launcher (HML) was used at the event that certified the mobility and swift deployability properties of the new weapon. Later in May, after the Chief’s of Defence visit, a live fire event will be held at the training range with participation of Lithuanian Air Force troops. Lithuanian military is also scheduled to participate in such NASAMS live firing event next year as well.
Transfer of NASAMS equipment to Lithuania, personnel training and integration into national defensive capabilities, is one of the three recent major projects of the Lithuanian Armed Forces modernization which is carried out in cooperation with Norway. Having delivered NASAMS systems to Lithuania two years ago, Norway is currently actively helping with training and instructing Lithuanian Air Force Air Defence Battalion personnel to use the equipment.
According to Chief of Defence, Lithuania has a staunch ally in Norway with which we are bound by a longstanding successful bilateral and multilateral cooperation and a realistic understanding of the threats that have emerged. Lithuania highly values Norway’s contribution to the efforts to ensure regional security and defensibility. It has responded swiftly to the Russian war against Ukraine and change security situation in the eastern flank of the Alliance by increasing its contingent in the NATO enhance Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group, deploying an additional mechanized infantry platoon with equipment and extending its rotation in Lithuania.
“Our cooperation with Norway began with the restoration of independence of Lithuania in 1990. Lithuania has always felt a tremendous support from Norway, and now – in particular. The presence of the Norwegian military in the Lithuanian territory and their commitment to our security is critical because it gives not only a strong and highly combat-ready ally abut also a true friend. Together we are strong,” Chief of Defence of Lithuania said.
In a discussion on the geopolitical situation and regional security challenges, Chief of Defence of Lithuania underscored it was obvious to anyone that if we were attacked seeking to take our territory, we would fight back side by side with our allies. Lithuania relies on Norway and other allies and is a proud member of the NATO family.
The Norwegian military has been maintaining rational presence with heavy equipment in the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group since its deployment in Lithuania in 2017. Norway’s Royal Air Force fighter aircraft have been deployed to guard the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian airspace on the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission multiple times.
An intense bilateral and multilateral cooperation has been developed since the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, the Lithuanian and the Norwegian Navies are bound by close cooperation as well. Lithuania bought patrol ships from Norway. Lithuania’s air defence was enhanced on Norway’s merit with RBS-70 air defence systems and radars transferred to Lithuania back in 2004 and used until this day.
Special operations forces of both countries also maintain close ties and train together in Lithuania, Norway and elsewhere in international exercises, such as Flaming Sword, Cold Response, Tundra, Trident Junction, as well as cargo airdrop training and JTAC training events .
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