Lithuania welcomes Czech soldiers

Autor: Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

Subsequent to the conclusions of the NATO Warsaw Summit 2016 and the initiatives of the Visegrad (V4) countries, a Czech military unit has commenced coordination exercise in Lithuania; thus, implementing the defence support plan for the Baltic States.

After the early-January combined railway and road journey by the Czech Company Task Force from the Czech Republic to Lithuania, the task force will now be based at Klaipeda Barracks, and will continue with the ‘Training Bridge 2017‘ exercise with their Lithuanian colleagues at the local Kairiai and Pabrade training areas.

The welcome ceremony, held at the Headquarters of the Griffin Brigade in Klaipeda, was opened with a speech from the Lithuanian Minister of Defence, Raimundas Karoblis, and was also attended by the Deputy Commander of the Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Viktoras Bagdonas, the Czech Military and Air Attaché to Lithuania, Lieutenant Colonel Tomas Riman, and other invited guests.

“Our Lithuanian partners tell us that they greatly appreciate the training activities of the V4 countries which have now been taken over by the Czech Army. This joint training exercise provides an extraordinary opportunity to develop and strengthen the already open, professional and friendly relations between the Lithuanian soldiers and ourselves. It is an invaluable asset to our further cooperation,” said LTC Riman.

The Czech Task Force comprises 112 soldiers, predominantly from the 1st Infantry Company, 74th Light Motorised Battalion, and is commanded by Captain Miroslav Maixner. Their equipment includes 15 IVECO light armoured vehicles and 22 pieces of transport, support and logistic machinery.

The Lithuanian Grand Duke Kestutis Motorised Infantry Battalion (Griffin Brigade) are directly involved in the joint exercise which focuses on planning, patrolling, defence operations, counter attacks, field tactical manoeuvres and live fire exercises. The Training Bridge 2017 exercise began on 10th January and will conclude on 20th March.

By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

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February 3, 2017