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On March 28 the Air Base of the Lithuanian Air Force at Šiauliai will host a run on the runway of military aircraft  that is already becoming traditional and is the only of its kind in Lithuania– Runway Run 2015.

 

The event marks the 25th anniversary of the restoration of Lithuania’s statehood and the 11th anniversary of Lithuania’s NATO accession.

 
 NATO 11 – more relevant than ever
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This year Lithuania’s basketball legend A.Sabonis will be sharing his shirt number 11 with NATO – on March 29 Lithuania will mark the 11th anniversary as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

 

We care to commemorate each anniversary of Lithuania’s membership of the Alliance. We held formal events and intellectual discussions and launched publications to celebrate our first decade in NATO a year ago. Although we will have a smaller commemoration this year, marking such a anniversary is a must. Not only because we have a tradition, but rather because the 11th Lithuania’s year in the Alliance has revealed the true NATO’s importance for Lithuania.

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 Lithuania and Germany will enhance cooperation in the area of defence industry
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At a meeting in Berlin (Germany) on March 26 Defence Policy Director of the Ministry of National Defence Dr. Vaidotas Urbelis and Director General for Security and Defence Policy of the Federal Ministry of Defence Géza Andreas von Geyr underlined that Lithuania and Germany saw each other as essential partners for defence cooperation.

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 Drafting into the Mandatory Military Service to begin in May
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Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas has signed an ordinance setting the beginning date of this years’ draft into the Continuous Mandatory Initial Military Service to be May 11. On that day the lists of this year’s conscripts will be compiled under supervision of representatives of civil society, and call-up notices will begin being sent. Calling up 3 thousand young people has been scheduled for this year, a part of them are expected to join voluntarily, and the remaining part will be enrolled on a mandatory basis.

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 12th rotation of the National Support Element welcomed home after the deployment in Afghanistan
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On March 25 the 12th rotation of the National Support Element attended a formal homecoming ceremony at the White Hall of the Ministry of National Defence after the deployment to the multinational mission in Afghanistan.

 

Vice Minister of National Defence Antanas Valys expressed his delight about the fact that participation of Lithuanian soldiers in the mission in Afghanistan is highly valued by NATO allies. “Such an evaluation is becoming even more meaningful in the context of the geopolitical situation calling for concrete actions from our partners. I thank you all for your excellent performance of duties and for glorifying the name of Lithuania in the current day world torn by unrest,” A.Valys said at the ceremony.

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 Vice Minister of National Defence M. Velička on a visit in Ukraine
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On March 25-26 Vice Minister of National Defence Marijus Velička is conducting a visit to Ukraine where he is meeting with representatives of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence and defence industry and taking part in the events of the NATO Contact Point Embassy in Kiev.

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 Data on interceptions of vessels and aircraft completed near the Baltic States’ borders from 16 to 22 March 2015
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From March 16 to 22 NATO Baltic air policing fighter jets protecting the Baltic airspace conducted eight scrambles to intercept aircraft of the Russian Federation flying near the borders of the Baltic States.

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Lithuanian troops and U.S. soldiers deployed for taking part in combined exercise in Lithuania are involved in intense training. Photo credit: A.Pliadis
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