|NATO Enhanced Forward Presence|
NATO Enhanced Forward Presence
NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Lithuania
The most important of the security assurances that Lithuania was given at the NATO Summit in Warsaw in June 2016 was the collective Alliance's decision to establish an enhanced forward presence to the Baltic states and Poland as of 2017 to unambiguously demonstrate, as part of our overall posture, Allies' solidarity, determination, and ability to act by triggering an immediate Allied response to any aggression. NATO Heads of State and governments adopted the decision in response to the Russian aggression in Ukraine and the changed geopolitical situation.
The excellently equipped high-readiness multinational units deployed in the three Baltic states and Poland is a significant contribution from NATO allies to the enhancement of security in the region.
The NATO enhanced forward presence battalion in Lithuania will be led by framework nation Germany. In 2017-2018 the battalion will be manned by Germany, and contributing nations: Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, and France, in total, roughly 1,200 soldiers.
Lithuania holds in high esteem the effort of Germany and other NATO allies to enhance deterrence and collective defence in the Baltic region.
At peacetime the NATO battalion will train together with Lithuanian forces, just like it will defend Lithuania alongside national forces and additionally deployed reinforcement in case of a crisis.
The multinational battalion will be based in Rukla, assigned to the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf, Lithuanian Armed Forces, and train alongside its soldiers in its military training cycle.
The NATO battalion in Lithuania will be comprised on a headquarters and a headquarters company, logistic support company, and three to four combat companies, and different combat support units. Reinforcement to the NATO forward presence battalion will be deployed when necessary, i.e. when exercises are held or in case of threat. Such a deployment is already planned for the summer when an intense cycle of exercises will run: artillery, air defence, engineer, and other units, are planned to be sent in.
Photo credit: Ieva Budzekaitė
During different intervals of time tens of tanks and armoured tactical vehicles and several hundred of wheeled tactical vehicles will be deployed in Lithuania: Leopard 2 tanks, CV90, M113, Boxer, Fennek, armoured personnel carriers, etc.
The NATO battalion will come under NATO command and control, the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence personnel will rotate every six months.
Lithuania will provide host nation support to the battalion. It is a unique and hard, in the positive sense, project because Lithuania has never hosted a combat group of such size before.
Military personnel of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence will live in the Training Regiment barracks in Rukla. Their living and workspace containers, communications aerials, sports and leisure facilities will be sited in a designated territory along with a medical facility which will employ NATO battalions' military medics, and space for their containers. Also, a part of allied troops will live in a renovated hotel, their logistical containers and vehicles will be located in areas installed for that purpose.