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On August 21, during his trip to Afghanistan, Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas met with Ambassador Maurits Jochems, the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. (USA), Commander ISAF, and Jan Kubiš, the Special Representative for Afghanistan and the Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

 
 Defence Attachés of Germany to Lithuania changed over
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On August 21 Defence Attachés of Germany changed over at a formal ceremony at the Ministry of National Defence. Vice Minister of National Defence Marijus Velička presented the National Defence Medal of Merit to the outgoing Germany’s Defence Attaché Lieutenant Colonel Achim Neitzert who was succeeded by Commander Thomas Hacken in the position. Vice Minister M.Velička highlighted at the ceremony that there had been quite numerous bilateral high-level meetings over the several latter years and thanked Germany for its contribution to ensuring the security of the Baltic airspace and for deployment of German troops to exercises in our region.

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 Minister of National Defence J. Olekas underlined the continuation of Lithuania’s commitments to Afghanistan
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August 20, Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas on a visit in Afghanistan discussed perspectives of further Lithuania’s cooperation with Afghanistan with Afghanistan’s Vice Minister of Defence Enayatullah Nazari and Vice Minister of Finance Shafiq Ahmad Qarizada.

 

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 Representatives of the Ministry of National Defence discussed cooperation in transportation and logistics with U.S. General
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On August 20 Commander of U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) General Paul J. Selva came on a visit to the Ministry of National Defence.

 

The guest was welcomed by a team of Lithuanian MoD and military representatives headed by Vice Minister of National Defence Marijus Velička. The Lithuanian Defence Vice Minister thanked the U.S. General for the support his country was rendering by sending its troops to ensure the Lithuanian and Baltic security following the crisis in Ukraine.

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 Defence Minister’s delegation visiting Lithuanian soldiers in Afghanistan
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A Lithuanian delegation led by the Minister of National Defence, Juozas Olekas, arrived in Afghanistan on August 20. The Lithuanian representatives where will meet with Lithuanian military servicemembers contributing to the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan.

 

While in Afghanistan, the delegation will also meet with representatives of the Defence and Finance Ministries of Afghanistan, and the United Nations’ and NATO ISAF leaderships, for a discussion over the current security situation in the country, prospects of Lithuania’s contribution to the new NATO’s mission Resolute Support in Afghanistan post 2014, and other matters.

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 Ministry of National Defence to send assistance to Ukraine
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On August 18 the leadership of the Ministry of National Defence held a session with regard to Ukraine’s request for assistance and agreed to send material support comprising field rations and medical supplies to the country hit by crisis. Ukraine has issued requests for assistance for all the NATO member states.

 

“We primarily aim at demonstrating our solidarity with and support to  Ukraine  by our assistance,” Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas said. According to the Minister, Ukraine’s stability is an important factor for the security of our state, so practical support for the country is necessary too.

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 The third rotation of U.S. soldiers arrived in Lithuania
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On August 18–19 the third rotation of U.S. military, USAREUR paratroopers from a company assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade arrived from their permanent station in Vicenza, Italy, at the Air Base in Šiauliai to replace the 173rd Airborne Brigade’s 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment in Lithuania.

 

Just like the previous rotations, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade will stay at the Duke Vaidotas Mechanised Infantry Battalion of the Iron Wolf Mechanised Infantry Brigade in Rukla.

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Reconnaissance seminar at the Military Academy of Lithuania: U.S. Marines sharing experience with lithuanian Land Force troops. Photo: courtesy of the Lithuanian Land Force.
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