|Structure » National Defence Volunteer Forces » International cooperation|
At the beginning of their activity Volunteer Forces cooperated with the neighboring Latvia Zemessardze and Estonia Kaitseliit volunteer structures, exchanged experience about establishing the volunteer units' and lessons learned. From 1993 NDVF started cooperation in the training sphere with Danish volunteer forces (Home Guard). Later this cooperation has developed into a NDVF J. Lukša training center and Danish Home Guard academy cooperation in a training area. Danish Home Guard academy in more than ten years has developed courses for instructors, instructor's trainers and management courses. These courses now are held at NDVF Lithuanian Grand Duke Butigeidis dragoon training battalion.
Sweden is famous for a territorial defence model and preparedness for a territorial defence. Since 1998 NDVF has closely cooperated with Swedish Home Guard training center where Lithuanian NDVF officers were trained. Sweden assisted in preparing recoilless gun instructors and radio specialists. Swedish female association Lottorna has organized management, first aid, survivability course for women serving at NDVF, and Swedish junior volunteers' organization maintained a close relationship with Lithuanian Riflemen Union.
A close NDVF cooperation with Norway Home Guard started in 1998. Norway has shared experience of winter war and battle in winter. Small groups of NDVF participated in this course and were trained how to fight during winter time. Such course was particularly useful for Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Mobile Communications and Observation group soldiers.
Annually from 1997 to 2007 the United Kingdom Territorial Army Royal Irish Rangers have trained NDVF servicemen. Basic military skills, platoon commanders', fight in a build up area and fight in the forest courses were organized during ten year period. Approximately from 50 to 100 NDVF servicemen and 6 - 8 instructors participated at the courses and learned how to do a course independently.
The volunteer forces and the USA National Guards are similar in the formation principles and given tasks. In these latter years NDVF and Pennsylvania National Guards representatives developed a permanent cooperation in several areas. A National Guards provided NDVF consultations on cooperation issues with volunteer servicemen employers and on issues of volunteer recruitment. In 2006 - 2007 in the USA and Lithuania several seminars were held and have been exchanged visits.
The USA Pennsylvania state National Guards representatives have participated in Lithuanian Armed Forces and NDVF level exercises, international training, Volunteer Sports Games. Representatives from the USA have participated in the international exercise "Amber Hope" (in 2005 and 2007) and "Baltic Spirit" (in 2006).
In May 2008 Lithuanian and the USA reserve scouts course was organized. Two weeks NDVF servicemen and Pennsylvania National Guards guardsmen studied together in Indiantown training center. During the course soldiers have deepened their knowledge in the reconnaissance and technique knowledge.
International cooperation is very important to the National Defence Volunteer Forces. Only directly contributing with Danish, the USA, Norway, Sweden, Latvian and Estonian volunteers and the United Kingdom Territorial Army we had a possibility to get acquainted with each country's defence structures, their organizational principles and to gather from the best practice. Moreover, this cooperation helped to prevent some mistakes in developing structures, preparing training systems and training all level commanders. Although Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces is different from all mentioned countries structures still in its activity uses the best accumulated practice choosing what is the most suitable.
International cooperation is maintained between affined (voluntary) structures of the USA, the United Kingdom, Latvia and other countries.