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The Lithuanian Armed Forces prepare for deployment to Iraq

The Lithuanian Armed Forces prepare for deployment to Iraq

 

From September 22 – October 20 a Lithuanian Grand Duke Kęstutis Motorized Infantry Battalion detachment is training at an exercise in the Kingdom of Denmark which will certify Lithuanian and Danish troops for the NATO Mission Iraq (NMI).

Lithuanian troops will deploy to the multinational operation in Iraq in November later this year and serve until April. They will be attached to the Danish Mobile Force Protection Company and carry out force protection duties: look after the security of NATO personnel training the Iraqi forces within and outside the base area. This is necessary to protect NATO trainers from odd ISIS platoons that attack local security forces, governmental officials and civilian population.

“The Lithuanian soldiers will be entrusted with security of our allies contributing in the NATO Mission Iraq. We are talking about human lives, this is a strong signal of confidence and a massive responsibility. However, the Lithuanian soldiers are training for such responsibilities on a daily basis in their service, with additional six months of training done for this mission specifically. That is why I am confident about the security of our allies. I am also pleased that we are deploying to the mission in composition of a Danish element – we have a longstanding cooperative relations with the country in military area, that also includes international operations. The Danish military are our longstanding and reliable partners,” said Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys.

Lithuanian forces began training for the concrete deployment in June and the ongoing exercise is the last phase of their readiness for the mission. 34 Lithuanian soldiers will be deployed in addition to two soldiers currently serving at the operational headquarters.

The NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) is a non-combat operation that aims at building the capacity of the Iraqi forces and security institutions so that they are able to stand up to terrorist activities, prevent ISIS activity in Iraq, and stabilize the country. The mission was agreed to at the NATO Summit in Brussels in July 2018 and launched at the request of the Iraqi Government. The NATO Defence Ministerial in February 2012 agreed to expand the mission.

POC: Senior PAO for the Defence Staff of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Maj Andrius Dilda, +370 686 28035, andrius.dilda@mil.lt