Lithuanian Armed Forces
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History

  

                                            Uhlans of 2nd Uhlan Regiment

                                 


Beginning of formation of the Battalion dates back to 1992 when motorised assault company was established at the order of Commander of a Field Force Brigade Col. Česlovas Jezerskas on September 29. The company was scattered throughout various locations.

On 19 September 1994 the Battalion was named after the Grand Duchess Birutė, it was permitted to take over traditions and attributes of the former 2nd Uhlan Regiment.  The 2nd Uhlan Regiment was bestowed with the name of Birutė on 30 September 1926.

Combat flag was given to the Battalion on 14 November of the same year.

Members of the Grand Duchess Birutė Battalion bestowed with the honour to continue traditions of the pre-war 2nd Uhlan Regiment  perform duty in international operations in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan,   headquarters of NATO commands, and develop intensive cooperation with society.

 Moments from a  field camp for the young generation

 


In the period between 1999 and 2007 the Grand Duchess Birutė Battalion was attached to a joint Lithuanian-Polish peacekeeping battalion LITPOLBAT.

 A moment from LITPOLBAT project closing ceremony

 


From April till December 2008, the battalion took part in Peace support operation in Afghanistan. The 7th PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team) shift was mainly formed from the battalion troops. The main goal of the PRTs is to help Afghan authorities expand their influence in the province, ensure security and stability as well as form suitable conditions for reconstructing the province.

Meeting with locals,  PRT 7 shift (Ghor province,Afghanistan)

 


Statue of Lithuanian Grand Duchess Birutė was opened in the Battalion on 22 April 2008.

 

Statues of Lithuanian Grand Duchess Birutė in the year 2008 and 1930.

 


In 2009, by the order of the Commander of the Land Force Domestic Support Forces composed of approximately 500 troops were formed. Troops from the Land Force's units will conduct an annual rotation to fulfill the functions of the Domestic Support Forces.
From January 1, 2010, the rotation is taken up by the Grand Duchess Birutė Uhlan Battalion together with Juozas Vitkus Engineer battalion, the Duke Vaidotas Forward Support Battalion and troops from the National Defence Volunteer Forces territorial units.
These forces are designed to conduct domestic support operations in the territory of the Lithuanian Republic and react to constantly changing situation, possible threats and provocations. Domestic Support Forces will react to sovereignty violation, provide reinforcement of the state border under the necessity, secure state and municipal objects of major importance, and defend them from terroristic and mass attack, support state institutions in case of emergencies.

Battalion participated in the Domestic Support Forces affirmation exercises "Strong Shield 2010", conducted in 10-19 JUN 2010.

 

 Moments from the Domestic Support Forces certification exercise "Strong Shield 2010"
                                         

Battalion personnel participated in The multinational crisis response exercise Amber Hope 2011 that took place on June 13-23 in Pabradė Training Area (Lithuanian Armed Forces).

Amber Hope-11 was the biggest military exercise held in Lithuania this year.

The Exercise took place simultaneously in Pabradės Training Area and Lithuania's territorial waters of the Baltic Sea, involving military service members and civilians from seven NATO countries - Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Norway, Poland, USA and Lithuania, and two NATO partner countries under the Partnership for Peace programme - Finland and Georgia. Armenia's, Azerbaijan's, Belarus', Kazakhstan's, Moldova's and Ukraine's armed forces and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) delegated observers for the Exercise.

Lithuanian Armed Forces have been organizing Amber Hope since 1995. Last series of Amber Hope was held in Klaipėda in 2007. This year the Exercise is organized and conducted by the Joint Headquarters of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.


maj. Artūras Radvilas assumed command of the battalion 15 Jul 2011


From April till November 2012, the battalion took part in Peace support operation in Afghanistan (2nd deployment). The 15th PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team) shift was mainly formed from the battalion troops. Lieutenant Colonel Artūras Radvilas, commander of the Great Duchess Birutė MIB, was heading the shift.

 

Meeting with locals,  PRT 15 shift (Ghor province,Afghanistan)

 


 

Lt. col. Mantas Paškevičius assumed command of the battalion 10 Dec 2012


Battalion participated in the international exercise Saber Strike 2013. Saber Strike 2013 was for the third time conducted at various training areas in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The exercise was scheduled from June 3-14, participating nations and units included approximately 2,000 troops from 14 countries. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, France, the United Kingdom, NATO's Multinational Corps Northeast (Germany, Poland and Denmark), and the United States. Norway and Sweden send observers.
Operation Saber Strike is an annual international exercise held since 2010 by the United States Army Europe (USAREUR) focused on the Baltic States. The exercise spans multiple locations in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and involves approximately 2,000 troops from 14 countries.
The exercise trains participants on command and control as well as interoperability with regional partners and consists of a brigade-level command post exercise and computer assisted exercise, as well as company-level field and situational training exercises. It also features the integration of U.S. close air support (CAS) with partner nation ground forces and the demonstration of U.S. Expeditionary Medical Support (EMEDS) capability.


                              New simbol of battalion was introduced on 1 January 2014

 


Uhlan Battalion participated in multinational exercise "Iron Sword" organized in Lithuania by Lithuanian Land Force. The exercise of this kind is a part of NATO military training and organization program. For the first time the exercise was held in Lithuania in 2014 and in the future is planned to be held on an annual basis.
The exercise held in November 2-14 involved around 2.5 thousands of troops from nine NATO countries: the Czech Republic, Estonia, the United States , the United Kingdom, Canada, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary and Germany. It is planned that the exercise will expand every year and will join a growing number of troops from NATO and partner nations.

 
 

On 1 November 2014 the battalion started a stand-by in the Rapid Reaction Force of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Forces consist of two battalion battle groups, air force, special operations force and logistics support elements. The basis of one battle group is formed from Grand Duchess Birutė Uhlan Battalion, other - from Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanized Infantry Battalion. Battalion battle groups are battalion size military units, formed to conduct combat tasks containing maneuver units and intelligence, fire support, combat support, air defense, engineering and other capabilities. Each of them includes about 800 soldiers.

                       


Maj. Darius Bernotas assumed command of the battalion 27 Nov 2014

 

On 6-10 May 2015 Battalion Battle Group II participated in the exercise "Lightning Strike" 2015. The exercise was aimed at assessing the interaction between units and to evaluate the work of Rapid Reaction Force. The exercise "Lightning Strike 2015"tested various types of threats, from hybrid warfare to terrorist attacks. The exercise scenario included such strategic infrastructure as Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal in Klaipeda Seaport, Palanga Airport etc.
The exercise "Lightning Strike 2015" was organized by the Lithuanian Armed Forces Joint Staff. The exercise involved over 3 thousand troops from all services and commands of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and roughly 500 officers of the interior security system.


On 1 January 2016 battalion became an integral part of the Motorized Infantry Brigade "Iron Wolf". In order to ensure effectiveness of the Lithuanian Land Force units in peace and war time, from  1 January the Mechanized Infantry Brigade "Iron Wolf" was transformed. Two infantry battalions - the King Mindaugas Hussar Battalion in Panevėžys and  the Grand Duchess Birutė Uhlan Battalion in Alytus - were returned to the composition of the Mechanized Infantry Brigade "Iron Wolf".


On 9 September 2016 battalion bid farewell to 132 conscripts. In March 2015, the Lithuanian government reinstated conscription, which had previously been suspended in 2008. Each year between 3,000 and 3,500 men aged 19 to 26 years are to be enlisted in the military for nine months.  

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 

Updated on: 2017-10-17
Sprendimas: Fresh Media