Lithuanian Armed Forces
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Special Forces

Beginning of formation of Lithuanian special forces was 1995. The force was a moderate military unit that later developed into a separate branch of Lithuanian Armed Forces. Special Forces were officially established in 2002 with unification of all special operations units under one staff into the Special Operations Unit (SOU). On 3 April 2008 Lithuanian Armed Forces Special Operations Unit became de jure Special Operations Forces (SOF).

Core of Special Operations Forces is made of Special Purpose Service, Vytautas the Great Jaeger Battalion, Combat Divers Service, Special Operations Element of Lithuanian Air Force is subordinate to Special Operations Forces in the level of management. Special Operations Forces are manned along the principles of voluntary accession, selection and special training.


Special Forces are responsible for the following tasks: special reconnaissance, direct actions, and military support. Special Forces are also in charge of other tasks, e.g. protection of VIP in peacetime.


Lithuanian Special Operations Forces are ready to be invoked within the territory of Lithuania in peacetime in case law enforcement institutions are not equipped with sufficient capabilities or capabilities in possession are not enough to respond to terrorist attacks. Capabilities of special forces makes them the main national response force responsible for counter-terrorism operations and operations to prevent violations of sovereignty.


Founders of Special Operations Forces have named combat squadron "Aitvaras". In the Baltic mythology creature is a guardian of atmosphere, waters, and clouds, and maintains connection with land and its riches. Creature -- a remarkably swift, dynamic, and powerful spirit - was associated with the four elements of the Universe: fire, water, air, and earth. It was the protector of good people and the punisher of the bad ones in the shape of a twister or fire grass-snake.


Special Operations Force Squadron "Aitvaras" was deployed to Afghanistan on the operation "Enduring Freedom" from 2002 to 2004. From 2005 to 2006 SOF squadrons were on standby in NATO Response Force.


Soldiers of Special Operations Forces participated in numerous important international exercises for special operations forces in Lithuania and abroad. In 2006 counter-terrorism exercise "Shamroc Key 06" were held in Lithuania, "Cold Response 07" interoperability-enhancing exercise for NATO, the UN, and other countries' land, air, and naval conventional and special components were held in 2007 in Norway, in February 2008 Special Operations Forces troops were placed on an intensive preparation for several types of NATO operations in the "Double Strike 08" exercise held in Klaipeda, and in September 2008 they were sent to one of the largest NATO-led international exercises for special operations forces last year "Jackal Stone 08" in Romania.


Troops of Special Operations Forces were first deployed to the NATO-led ISAF operation in the south of Afghanistan in 2007. "We acquired a lot of invaluable experience in southern Afghanistan fighting side by side with other special operations units. It is of topmost value for me and all our soldiers - special operations unit ("green brothers"), jaegers, combat divers - that we have overcome a lot of hard and important tasks, and our colleagues rated high our determination and courage. Our efforts proved meaningful - we are continuing honourable military traditions of our motherland and continue to earn glory to the name of Lithuania," said member of the Special Operations Forces having come home after the mission in southern Afghanistan.



LITHSOF troops act together

with Air Force troops during

training and exercises. Fast

roping during the international

exercise 'Amber Hope 2011' in


Co-operation and contribution

with the SOF community

members are 

a significant goal of LITHSOF.


troops during international

exercise 'Balts Will 2009'.


LITHSOF and Dovile Cizaite pictures





Updated on: 2016-02-09
Sprendimas: Fresh Media