President and leadership of the Lithuanian armed Forces took part in the visitors' and media day of „Jackal Stone 2010"

President and leadership of the Lithuanian armed Forces took part in the visitors' and media...

September 21, visitors' and media day of the multinational special operations forces exercise „Jackal Stone 2010" was held at the Lithuanian Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion in Klaipėda, exercise and its course was presented to the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, Minister of National Defence Rasa Juknevičienė, US Ambassador HE Anne E. Derse, Chief of Defence of Lithuania Maj Gen Arvydas Pocius, leading officials of the Ministry of National Defence and the Lithuanian Armed Forces, and other guests. They met with soldiers of the Lithuanian Special Operations Forces Squadron in Klaipėda, viewed display of military equipment, and visited US warship „USS Mount Whitney" that came to Lithuania to take part in the exercise.


„It is very rejoicing that Lithuania's NATO membership is supplemented with increasingly firmer security guarantees. „Jackal Stone 2010" is one of proofs that our strategic partner USA enhances military visibility in the Baltic States through planning and conduct of a spectrum of training events and deployment of troops in the region. Lithuanian Special Operations Forces have a long experience of cooperation with their US counterparts not only in exercises but also in combat environment, while this training event is tailored to enhance defence capabilities of our country," said Minister of National Defence R. Juknevičienė.


Referring to multinational special operations forces' exercises held in Lithuania, Chief of Defence of Lithuania Maj Gen Arvydas Pocius stressed that coordination of actions at sea, land and air is the most important element of training. „Members of all the sorts of special operations forces with their equipment take part in the exercise. The event is beneficial for creating a unified control system of special forces' units. Main participants of the exercise are Lithuanian, USA and Poland troops, other nations contributed smaller capabilities to the event. Therefore such exercise also train regional-level readiness of military personnel," said Chief of Defence of Lithuania. He highlighted that scenario of the exercise was also based on the experience gained in Afghanistan and thus helpful for all the participating countries.


„I am very glad that host country of this year's „Jackal Stone" is Lithuania. It is the most important training event for special operations forces across Europe. Another reason why this exercise is so important is that it is held in Lithuania. Special Operations Forces of Lithuania has proved that they are a professional and strong partner in Afghanistan and we are very satisfied that troops of Lithuanian Special Operations Forces are engaged in this important mission of NATO. It is an honor to train and fight along with such capable troops" , said US Ambassador Anne E. Derse.


The biggest multinational special operations forces exercise „Jackal Stone 2010" this year is held simultaneously in Lithuania (Klaipėda) and Poland from September13. The exercise involves over 1,1 thousand special operations forces troops from seven countries: Lithuania, Poland, USA, Latvia, Croatia, Romania, and Ukraine. The exercise is conducted under coordination of the Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR).


The key purpose of „Jackal Stone 2010" is to concert actions for special operations by joint activities and to share experience gained during exercises and missions in Afghanistan. Maj Gen Michael S. Repass, Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command Europe highlights that the exercise is aimed at improving concerted actions of troops while completing assigned special operations forces tasks. Multinational cooperation of special operations forces is important for one of NATO's major aims - to have those forces in operation together in any part of the world in case of necessity.


Lithuanian Special Operations Forces Squadron „Aitvaras" participating in „Jackal Stone 2010" has been performing duty in multinational operations for eight years - in „Enduring Freedom" in 2002-2004,  and from autumn of 2007 - in ISAF-led multinational mission in southern Afghanistan. Special Operations Forces troops of Lithuania acquire actual combat experience in Afghanistan and this way enhance defence capabilities of their country - members of „Aitvaras" are ready to defended their homeland and fight in Lithuania's territory in case of necessity.


Lithuanian Special Operations Forces take part in multinational special operations forces training events in Lithuania or other countries on an annual basis.