NATO cooperation across Baltic borders

Autor: Thorgils Jonsson, Public Affairs Officer, eFP BG LTU

Czech troops from Lithuania battlegroup join major exercise in Latvia.

Loud clamor echoed around the technical area in Rukla, Lithuania this morning (Wednesday) as the Czech contingent of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group loaded up their vehicles, headed for Latvia.

In all, about 180 troops and their 15 Pandur-II Infantry Fighting Vehicles will make the journey north across the border to take part in the multinational exercise Namejs 2018 with NATO partners.

It is the largest military exercise ever organized by the Latvian Armed Forces and it will feature around 10.000 participants from 13 NATO countries. The training began on the 20th of August and will conclude on the 2nd of September, after which the Czechs will return to Lithuania.

Among other participants in the exercise is a second group of Czech soldiers, a mortar platoon of 60 soldiers which is a part of NATO eFP Battle Group Latvia.

In Latvia, the Czech contingent from Lithuania will play the part of the war games opposition forces, which will require a lot of maneuvering for the duration of the exercise, since the training exercises will take place in every region of Latvia.

"That will definitely be one of our major challenges," says Lt. Col. Jiri Libal, commander of the Czech unit in Lithuania. "Road movements with the Pandurs every day to a different location will be a logistics challenge, but I am sure that it will be successful and it will prepare us well for future exercises and operations."

According to Lt. Col. Libal, the participation in Namejs 2018 is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of the Czech unit. "It is also a great way to display unity and cooperation between the eFP Battle Groups in collectively safeguarding the security of NATO nations."

  • The NATO eFP Battle Groups were established in 2017. The battlegroup in Lithuania is led by framework nation Germany. Lt. Col. René Braun commands about 1.200 troops from eight NATO member states. The eFP Battle Group in Latvia is led by framework nation Canada and has a similar number of troops, also from eight NATO member states.

August 22, 2018