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Lithuanian special force troops returned home upon completing mission in Afghanistan


On Tuesday, 30 November, troops from the Special Operations Unit Aitvaras of the Lithuanian Armed Forces returned home upon completing their four-month mission in Afghanistan. Lithuanian troops attended the international Operation Enduring Freedom.


The US military command of the international Operation Enduring Freedom and coalition partners often commended the professionalism shown by Lithuanian soldiers and their ability to implement the most demanding tasks. The US military command awarded several troops of the Aitvaras unit with Medals for Merits. The most distinguished troops of the Special Operation Unit will be granted state awards.


That was the fourth involvement of the Lithuanian Special Operations in the international operation Enduring Freedom since 2002. Lithuania does not intend to send the fifth squadron to the mission yet. A part of the Special Operations Squadron was sent to the Operation Enduring Freedom twice and some of the troops attended the mission three times. Now the troops must have some rest, assess the gained experience and share their new skills with troops who are undergoing training. The Special Operations Unit must start preparing for participating in NATO Rapid Force.


At the moment, eight Lithuanian troops serve in Afghanistan: four logistic specialists and one air traffic controller work at Kabul Airport, two military medical personnel perform in NATO-led peacekeeping operation as part of the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, and one military female medic works in the UK-led region restoration mission in Mazar-e-Shariff.


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Soldiers of the Continuous Mandatory Basic Military Service in the Lithuanian Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion surmounted the Path of Dragoons proving themselves true dragoons. By Private Recruit Edvinas Urbonas
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