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Chief of Defence of Lithuania on the visit in Poland: “We share the vision of strengthening security in the region”
From January 26 to 28 Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen Arvydas Pocius was conducting a formal visit in Poland.
Meeting in Krakow Lithuanian CHOD and Gen Mieczysław Cieniuch, CHOD and Chief of General Staff of Poland, addressed current matters of bilateral cooperation: military collaboration in the context of the Baltic Region, NATO Air Policing mission over the Baltic States and Poland’s perspectives to continue participation in the mission, perspectives of collaboration between the Lithuanian and Polish Special Operations Forces, and the process of formation of the joint Lithuanian-Polish –Ukrainian Brigade LITPOLUKRBRIG. Chief of Defence of Poland invited the Lithuanian Armed Forces to assign special operations capabilities for the Joint Staff of the Special Forces Operational Component being formed in Poland.
“Cooperation with Poland, our strategic partner in military cooperation, is efficient as never before,” said Lt Gen A. Pocius. “We have a common vision regarding strengthening security in the region, we foresee a successful future for LITPOLUKRBRIG and great perspectives for participation of such capabilities as the Special Operations Forces in collective projects”.
In Krakow Lithuanian Chief of Defence visited the Polish Special Operations Command and met with Brig Gen Piotr Patalong, Force Commander. The Lithuanian Chief of Defence was introduced to the present situation of the forces as well as perspectives of further development. Lt Gen A.Pocius also observed a demonstration programme by the Polish Special Forces.
Lithuanian Chief of Defence also visited the Command of the joint Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian Brigade LITPOLUKRBRIG in Lublin. The Brigade planned to have around 4.5 thousand Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian personnel is expected to be formed in 2013. The Brigade’s staff and Security Battalion will be based in Lublin.
Partners of the LITPOLUKRBRIG project which was opened in November 2009 have agreed to contribute in equal parts to the formation of the Brigade. Once the project is completed, LITPOLUKRBRIG will become an important instrument facilitating participation of the three states in the EU Security and Defence Policy.
Active defence cooperation between Lithuania and Poland is developed since 1993 according to a cooperation plan reaffirmed and renewed on a regular basis between the Defence Ministries of the two countries.
The countries also develop active cooperation by sending their troops to national and international exercises (Jackal Stone, Baltic Host, Maple Arch, Baltops), conduct cooperation across staffs of various levels, military education institutions and military units on a permanent basis.
Lithuanian soldiers participated in Polish-led military units in multinational operations in Iraq and Kosovo. Lithuanian and Polish troops together with German, Slovak and Latvian military conducted duty in a joint EU Battle Group.
In the period between 1999 and 2007 a joint Lithuanian-Polish Battalion LITPOLBAT was in operation. The unit was formed to strengthen Lithuania’s military cooperation with Poland which entered NATO in 1999, as well as to assist the Lithuanian Armed Forces in training for integration into NATO’s military structures.
Polish soldiers were deployed on the NATO Air Policing mission for three times (in 2006, 2008 and 2010).
Active cooperation among Lithuania’s and Poland’s Special Forces is developed since 2010 when Lithuania and Poland simultaneously conducted multinational Special Operations Forces exercise Jackal Stone 2010. Directions of cooperation and key military projects where troops from both countries could participate were established in February and June of 2011 by the commanders of the Polish and Lithuanian Special Operations Forces during working meetings. Poland seeks NATO certification for the staff of the Joint Special Forces Operational Component in 2013. Lithuania and Poland are both interested to have support of the Lithuanian Special Operations Forces for the unit.
In the photo: CHODs of Lithuania and Poland
Spokesperson to the Chief of Defence of Lithuania Capt Skomantas Povilionis, cell phone 00370 682 25 359