Lithuania sends 6th shift of military instructors to Ukraine

16 Lithuanian instructors will work with US and Canadian colleagues to train Ukrainian servicemen  Photo: Kam.lt
16 Lithuanian instructors will work with US and Canadian colleagues to train Ukrainian servicemen Photo: Kam.lt

On July 5 the 6th rotation of Lithuanian military instructors where deployed to deliver training in Ukraine. The 6th shift Lithuania provides comprises 16 professional military service soldiers with the Motorised Infantry Brigade Žemaitija, Lithuanian Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion, and the Lithuanian Grand Duke Kęstutis Motorised Infantry Battalion.

Lithuanian soldiers alongside Canadian and U.S. colleagues train the Ukrainian Armed Forces, arrange individual and collective exercises, and teach Ukrainian soldiers operational planning and control in line with NATO standards at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Yavoriv, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said.

The rotation will take over from the previous shift formed by 16 members of the National Defense Volunteer Force (NDVF) which began service as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine (JMTG-U) two month ago. The 6th rotation of Lithuanian military instructors is led by Major Mindaugas Statkus (Motorized Infantry Brigade Žemaitija).

The Baltic state contributes to the U.S. Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine as part our country’s assistance to Ukraine. Ukrainian soldiers are also invited to attend various courses delivered at Lithuanian military education institutions, Lithuania and other Baltic nations provide financing to Ukrainian officers’ studies at the Baltic Defense College in Tartu, Estonia.

Vilnius has been supporting territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine and providing all possible and legally permitted assistance (including military) since the beginning of the Russian aggression.

In 2015, Lithuania deployed two rotations of military instructors to train the National Guard of Ukraine, and Lithuanian military have also been training regular Ukraine’s forces since November alongside NATO allies. Last year Lithuanian military medics also trained their Ukrainian counterparts side by side with U.S. military medics.

On April 18, 2016, Minister of National Defense Juozas Olekas and Defense Minister of Ukraine Army General Stepan Poltorak signed an agreement between their respective ministries on the development and implementation of training and mentoring programmes during the Lithuanian Minister’s official visit in Kiev.

From June 27-July 8 soldiers of the Lithuanian National Defense Volunteer force deployed to Ukraine as part of the U.S. Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine are training in Field Training Exercise Rapid Trident 2016 at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Yavoriv alongside other participants. On July 4-7 Commander of the Lithuanian National Defense Volunteer Force Colonel Arturas Jasinskas is visiting the exercise.