|Structure » Land Force » History|
On 30 June 2014 by the order of Lithuanian Land Forces Commander July 15th was approved as the Lithuanian Land Forces Day.
On 5 July 2012 Brigadier General Almantas Leika (now Major General) was appointed as a Commander of Lithuanian Land Forces.
Since 2012 a two year standby of Domestic Support Forces of the Lithuanian Army was started by approx. 950 soldiers. Forces structured of Land, Air, Navy and Special Operations components. The biggest one is Land Component, which composed mostly from Land Forces units (Lithuanian Grand Duke Kęstutis Motorized Infantry Battalion, Motorised infantry brigade "Iron Wolf", Juozas Vitkus Engineer Battalion and the NDVF).
On 28 November 2011 the Minister of the National Defense by order has approved the new structure of The Lithuanian Armed Forces. Main changes was in the structure of the Land Forces. The new structure of the Land Forces see in the scheme.
On 3 October 2011 the NDVF 6th Territorial Unit of Prisikėlimas Military District was re-established in Šiauliai. It was operating from 1999 to 2006. The decision was made depending on the conception of the country armed defense and main ways of national defense.
On 1st July 2011 Land Forces Command Land Forces Training Center became a separate Land Forces unit and was renamed as Land Forces Juozas Lukša Training Center.
Starting 2011 Lithuanian Force Protection Company started a one year long duty in NATO Response Forces (NRF-2011 shift). Company was composed of soldiers from Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanized Infantry Battalion.
On 14 December 2010 Land Forces HQ Land Forces Training Center was established in Rukla.
During the second half of 2010 the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) platoon of Land Forces Juozas Vitkus Engineer Battalion conducted a six-month duty in the 15th rotation of the NATO Response Force (NRF-15). The Platoon was ready to operate as a part of Polish EOD company.
During the first half of 2010 Land Forces soldiers, mainly from King Mindaugas Mechanized Infantry Battalion, conducted a six-month standby in the European Union Battle Group (EUBG).
Moments of preparation for the EUBG standby
Pictures by G.Mockevičius and D. Dzimidas
On 1st January 2010, the trilateral Baltic Battalion (BALTBAT), manned by Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia troops has entered the 14 rotation of the NATO Response Force (NRF-14). The trilateral Baltic Battalion for duty in NRF-14 was established in September 2007, and was led by Lithuania. BALTBAT successfully conducted a half-year rotation in the land component of NRF.
Since 2010 a two year standby of Domestic Support Forces of the Lithuanian Army was started by approx. 700 soldiers, mostly from Land Forces units (Lithuanian Grand Duchess Birutė Motorized Infantry Battalion, Juozas Vitkus Engineer Battalion and the NDVF).
On 30 September 2009 the NDVF Aviation Unit was disbanded. The Unit's aircrafts were moved to the Aviation Base of the Lithuanian Air Force, personnel rotated to the Lithuanian Air Force and other Lithuanian Army units.
In 2009 Domestic Support Forces of the Lithuanian Army were formed, which nucleus was formed from Land Forces units.
On 1st January 2009 Lithuanian Duke Vaidotas Forward Support Battalion was fully attached to MIB Iron Wolf.
In 2008 Overall Demining Platoon was established in Juozas Vitkus Engineer Battalion. Its mission - to clear the territory of the Republic of Lithuania from unexploded standard explosive devices.
Until the middle of 2008 Land Forces command ensured proper participation of the Lithuanian troops in international operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (operations "Joint Guard", "Joint Force", "Althea") in Kosovo (operation "Joint Guardian"), in Afghanistan (operation "Enduring Freedom") and in Iraqi (operation "Iraqi Freedom").
Lithuanian troops in operation in Afghanistan
Picture by K. Zikaras
On 23 April 2008 Brigadier General Jonas Vytautas Žukas was appointed as a commander of the Land Forces. (He has been a commander ad interim since 26 September 2006).
Brigadier general Jonas Vytautas Žukas is presented a flag of the Land Forces Command
Pictures by A. Pliadis
On 29 June 2007 common Lithuanian and Polish military project LITPOLBAT was closed. During the project common battalion was established and prepared for international operations.
On 29 September 2006 the NDVF 6th Territorial Unit of Prisikėlimas Military District was reorganised. The units of the 6th Territorial Unit were integrated into the 5th Territorial Unit of Vytis Military District.
On 31 August 2006 in Denmark, Haderslev, a contemporary Chiefs of Defense of Lithuania and Denmark have signed the Memorandum of MIB Iron Wolf affiliation with Danish division. According to this memorandum joint military exercise is conducted and Lithuanian officers are provided an opportunity to serve at Danish division headquarters.
Since 2005 soldiers of Lithuanian Field (Land) Forces are participating in NATO led operation International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Most of them serve in Lithuania led Provincial Reconstruction Team Chaghcharan in Ghor province.
In September 2005 during the special affirmation exercise the NATO Component Command Land Headquarters evaluated the Field (Land) Forces headquarters ability to prepare, train and sustain units in NATO - led operations. Later Field (Land) Forces headquarters coordinated affirmation exercise at Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanized Infantry Battalion (Rukla district) where NATO officers observed and made assessment of the exercise.
Moments from Algirdas MIB affirmation exercise (2005)
Picture from the archive of LF
On 1st September 2005 the 4th Territorial Unit of Tauras Military District was restructured. The force units and member have been placed under subordination of the 1st Territorial Unit of Dainava Military District and the 2nd Territorial Unit of Darius and Girėnas Military District.
On 17 August 2005 Lithuanian Duke Vaidotas Forward Support Battalion was attached to MIB Iron Wolf under operational command, combat training and activity planning issues.
On 1 July 2005 the 9th Territorial Unit of the Kęstutis Military District of the NDVF was restructured. The force units and members have been place under subordination of the 3rd Territorial Unit of the Žemaičiai Military District and the 2nd Territorial Unit of Darius and Girėnas Military District.
On 31 January 2005 the international project LITART was successfully finished in the Artillery Battalion of MIB Iron Wolf.
From 2004 to 2008 several specialized units of the NDVF were established: Civil and Military Cooperation Company, Crossing Platoon (attached to Juozas Vitkus Engineer battalion Crossing Company), Special Operations Company (attached to the Vytautas the Great Jaeger Battalion), Military Police Company (attached to the Lithuanian Army Military Police) and Medics Company.
In 2004 the bilateral project between Denmark and Lithuania LITBRIG has started. The aim of the project was to support Lithuania by training and advising the Motorised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf Commander, the brigade staff and the brigade HQ Company, in order to establish a national capacity to plan, train, evaluate and deploy brigade elements to international operations.
At the end of 2004 Lithuanian Grand Duke Būtigeidis dragoon training battalion was integrated into the Field (Land) Forces (attached to the NDVF).
On 30 June 2004 the incoming Commander Brigadier General Arvydas Pocius has replaced the outgoing commander Brigadier general Valdas Tutkus. Brigadier General Valdas Tutkus was appointed as a Chief of Defence of Lithuania.
Presenting of the Field (land) Forces Flag to Brigadier General Arvydas Pocius
Picture by E. Žygaitis
On 18 June 2004 contemporary Commander of the Field (land) Forces Brigadier General Valdas Tutkus was handed the Flag of the Field (Land) Forces HQ.
The consecration of the Field (Land) Forces Command Flag
Picture by E. Žygaitis
In April 2004 NDVF took over the international operations in Balcan region from the regular forces of Lithuanian Army.
On 17 March 2004 according the resolution No 287 of the Government Of Republic of Lithuania volunteer soldiers were allowed to participate in international operations. Before that the participation right was enabled only to profesional service soldiers.
In 2003, 2005 and 2007 Field (Land) Forces Headquarters planned and organized the biggest international military exercise held in Lithuania "Amber Hope". Lithuania in this exercise was represented mostly by soldiers from Field (Land) Forces.
On 1st October 2003 Lithuanian Grand Duke Kęstutis battalion was integrated into the structure of the Field (Land) Forces (into MIB Iron Wolf).
On 30 September 2003 Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytenis battalion was shifted from the Motorised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf to the Logistics Command of the Lithuanian Army.
On 16 June 2003 in order to ensure qualified destruction of found explosives and elimination of unexploded ammunition from the territory of Lithuania operational Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) squads of Juozas Vitkus Engineer Battalion were established in Vilnius, Kaunas, Panevėžys, Alytus, Klaipėda, Šiauliai and Tauragė.
In 2003 the National Defence Volunteer Forces (NDVF) were integrated into the structure of the Field (Land) Forces. From that time NDVF were reorientated from the territorial country defence to the wide spectrum operations in Lithuania and abroad.
On 19 November 2001, the Minister of the National Defense by order has approved the Field (Land) Forces insignia.
Statistic Department of the Lithuanian Republic on 11 October 2001, has registered Field (Land) Forces Command of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Therefore October 11th is the foundation date of the Field (Land) Forces HQ.
Note. More information about Field (Land) Forces HQ you can find in the section "Land Forces HQ".
LF HQ members near HQ building in 2003
Picture from the archive of LF
According to the decree of the President of the Republic of Lithuania on 13 August 2001 Colonel Valdas Tutkus was appointed as a commander of the Field (Land) forces.
On 19 February 1999 contemporary minister of the National Defence Česlovas Stankevičius issued order on manning table of the Field (Land) Forces Headquarters. Lithuanian Armed Forces aiming to become a full member of defence allies has intensively implemented military capabilities reform, which was completely in accord with NATO requirements. The expanding extent of the international operations required more thorough consideration, finances and human resources.
Second period of todays Lithuanian Land Forces history started in 1991 when Lithuanian Army was re-established again after five decades of Soviet occupation.
It should be mentioned, that todays Lithuanian Land Forces history starts in 23 of November 1918 when Lithuanian Armed Forces were re-established because Lithuanian Armed Forces are successor of that time Army traditions.