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On April 16 Senators of the United States Congress John McCain, John Barrasso, John Hoeven and Ron Johnson paid a visit to the Ministry of National Defence and met with Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas, Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Arvydas Pocius, and other officials of the National Defence System.

 

At the meeting the guests and the Lithuanian authorities addressed the developments of the recent months in Ukraine and Russia’s actions that threaten not only the security of Ukraine but also of the wider region. The meeting officials underscored that a unified U.S.-EU response was required not only to demonstrate the solidarity of the Western world but also to convince Russia to stop its illegal and illegitimate actions in the neighbouring countries.

 
 A U.S. Congressional delegation is conducting a visit in Lithuania
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On April 16 Senators of the United States Congress John McCain, John Barrasso, John Hoeven and Ron Johnson arrived in Lithuania. The guests were met at the Lithuanian Air Force Base in Šiauliai by Vice Minister Marijus Velička, Commander of the Lithuanian Air Force Major General Edvardas Mažeikis, and commanding staff of the U.S. contingent conducting the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission.

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 EU Defence Ministers’ meeting concentrated on Ukraine
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On April 15 in Luxembourg Vice Minister of National Defence Marijus Velička took part in a meeting of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council at the level of the EU Defence Ministers where the latest developments in Ukraine were addressed. The Defence Ministers expressed every kind of support to Ukraine at the meeting.

 

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen also joined the discussion on the situation in Ukraine.

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 Smooth cooperation between the Armed Forces and state institutions is vital now, J. Olekas says
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Video report

“Our Armed Forces are training and taking part in different exercises on a regular basis, however, the events of the recent months have demonstrated that a smooth cooperation with governmental and municipal institutions is essential in order to deliver efficient national defence. This is the first exercise involving state authorities, thus it is a very important event, and I highly appreciate their contribution,” Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas said about the command post exercise Amber Will 2014 that is taking place at the General Adolfas Ramanauksas Warfare Training Centre. According to Minister, representatives of municipalities, the Lithuanian Armed Forces, and state authorities worked together and tested what would be required from them in case of a threat to national security.

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 Lithuania’s experience from the Presidency of the Council of the European Union was presented to an Estonian colleague
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On April 15 Permanent Secretary of Defence of the Estonian Ministry of Defence Mikk Marran paid a visit to the Ministry of National Defence. The guest familiarized with Lithuania’s experience of preparing for and holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

 

Lithuania’s Presidency program and priorities in the framework of the European Union Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) were presented to the Estonian representative.

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 Last rotation of Lithuania’s Air Mentoring Team formally deployed to Afghanistan
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On April 14 at the Lithuanian Air Force Base in Šiauliai, the last shift of the Air Mentoring Team (AMT) was formally deployed to the operation in Afghanistan where the unit is providing training for Afghan military forces. Once the 7th AMT rotation has completed their remaining half-year tour of duty, it will close the AMT mission in Afghanistan.

 

Just like the pervious rotations, the closing AMT shift will be based at Kandahar airfield, the main operational airport of the NATO operation in Afghanistan, where it operates as part of the U.S. 738th Expeditionary Air Group responsible for the development of Kandahar Air Base.

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 DV Day at Exercise Amber Will 2014
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On April 15 Media and Distinguished Visitors Day of the command post exercise Amber Will 214 will take place at the General Adolfas Ramanauskas Warfare Training Centre of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The event is expected to be attended by President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas, Chief of the Joint Staff Brigadier General Vilmantas Tamošaitis, and other guests. Exercise Amber Will 2014 will span 5 days and will pull together approximately 350 representatives of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and different state institutions to train planning procedures for defence operations.

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April 14–18,  live-fire artillery exercise Thundering Wolf takes place  at the Pabradės Training Range. Photo credit: Alfredas Pliadis
Photo of the day

 
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