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The Lithuanian Armed Forces supports and will continue supporting Ukraine, says Chief of Defence visiting exercise in Ukraine

The Lithuanian Armed Forces supports and will continue supporting Ukraine, says Chief of Defence...

On September 28-29 Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys conducted a visit to Ukraine and observed military actions rehearsed in Exercise Joint Endevour 2021 with Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Lieutenant General Valery Zaluzhny, and met with the Lithuanians training in the exercise.

“The Lithuanian Armed Forces supports and will continue supporting Ukraine as much as we can. Our troops are doing serious work here, as well as in other countries and missions or such exercises as this one. Our allies value us all I am hearing are excellent feedback on the Lithuanian military.  This as well is an excellent opportunity to train side by side with and increase interoperability with Ukrainian and other countries’ forces,” underscored Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys at the exercise.

Strategic Command and Staff Exercise Joint Endeavour 2021 in Ukraine pulls together 12,500 personnel with over 500 units of military equipment, 20 warships and 30 aircraft from 15 participating countries. The Exercise trains planning, organization and execution of defensive actions in line with NATO standards and procedures, the event also tests Ukraine’s combat readiness, mobilization plans, and the newly introduced military documents. The Exercise is attended by Lithuanian servicemembers conducting the National Military Training Operation in Ukraine.

Lithuania and Ukraine have been cooperating bilaterally in military area since 1994 ,while in the wake of the Russian aggression in 2014 the cooperation has intensely increased and results in already four years of the National Military Training Operation in Ukraine with rotational strength of 30 Lithuanian military instructors training Ukrainian military independently and together with other NATO allies. The mission advances new standards and training programmes in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Lithuanian Armed Forces also provide strategic level consultations to Ukrainian military personnel, including the command level, on request. Lithuania arranges studies for Ukrainian officers at tactical and operational level command courses in Lithuania and Estonia.

Lithuanian servicemembers also serve and hold some of the top positions of command in the joint Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian Brigade LITPOLUKRBRIG. One of the priorities of the unit is to strengthen the Ukrainian military capability and integration of NATO procedures. Lithuanian troops are also continuously training in joint exercises with the Ukrainians, supports organization of joint NATO-Ukrainian exercises in Ukraine and a more active participation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in NATO exercises.

The Lithuanian Armed Forces also contributes to the efforts to strengthen the Armed Forces of Ukraine with continuously increased weaponry and military equipment donations. It amounted to nearly EUR 6 million worth of aid in military equipment in 2014-2019. This year as well, bulletproof vests and thermovisors are planned to be donated.

The Military Rehabilitation Centre of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Military Medical Service provided trearment to nearly 300 Ukrainian troops in 2014-2020. The assistance programme has been halted due to the pandemic but it will resume as soon as possible.

Another exercise currently underway in Ukraine is Rapid Trident 2021 involving a company from the Lithuanian Armed Forces J. K. Chodkevičius Infantry Brigade Griffin and Special Operations Forces troops. And the National Military Training Operation in Ukraine is manned by 29 troops with the Lithuanian Land Forces, Special Operations Forces, Lithuanian Armed Forces School, Training Regiment, and logistical units.

Photo and information credits: Lithuanian Armed Forces