Baltic Protector: first anniversary to be marked in Lithuania

Defence Ministers and Chiefs from the nine partner nations of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force will meet on 28 June  in Klaipėda, Lithaunia, to mark the one-year anniversary of the force reaching full operating capacity.

They will gather aboard HMS Albion, which is currently leading the JEF Maritime Task Group deployed on Baltic Protector – a large scale maritime deployment featuring a total of 3,000 military personnel and 20 vessels from all JEF nations:  the UK, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Sweden.

MEDIA ADVISORY

Media representatives will have an opportunity to come aboard Royal Navy ship HMS Albion and familiarise with the flagman’s activity and tasks.  They will be also briefed on the Baltic Protector deployment, its objectives and tasks. The media event will include a joint press conference led by the Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis and the UK Secretary of State for Defence Penny Mordaunt.

Registration and accreditation

• Lithuanian media representatives are invited to register until Thursday, June 27, 12.00 hrs to vis@kam.lt  of the Strategic Communication and Public Affairs Department of the Ministry of National Defence. The following information is required for registering: name, surname, represented media outlet, contact details (mobile phone number, e-mail address).

• Foreign media representatives and freelance reporters are asked to send accreditation application to the UK Directorate of Defence Communications (DDC) News joseph.hall207@mod.gov.uk  and to the Lithuanian MOD Strategic Communications and Public Affairs Department to vis@kam.lt  by filling in a questionnaire form and adding the copies of passport/ID and media card until Wednesday, June 26, 17.00 hrs.

• Only registered media will be admitted to the event and receive event programme in detail.

• Media representatives are asked to arrive at the Central Terminal of Klaipėda Seaport (Baltijos pr. 40) Friday, June 28, until 11.30 hrs.

• Media representatives going from Vilnius to Klaipėda and back will be able to use MoD transport. Please inform of your wish to use the transport upon registration due to limited space.

Point of contact: Asta Galdikaitė, Lithuanian MOD Strategic Communication and Public Affairs Department. +370 5 273 5519, +370 687 90 765, asta.galdikaite@kam.lt.

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UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force

The UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force was established at the NATO Summit in 2014 and became operational after one year. The force reached Full Operational Capability in June 2018 with the signature of the Comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding in London. Today the high-readiness rapid response force comprising 10 thousand troops can be activated to respond to emergencies in Europe and beyond any time necessary.

Lithuania is contributing a company sized unit to the JEF which is assigned to the Combat Group of the Danish Armed Forces and a military medic assigned to the UK field hospital. One Lithuanian officer has been serving in the JEF operational headquarters in Northwood, United Kingdom, since early 2016.

The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania gave a mandate for the Lithuanian Armed Forces to take part in military operations as part of the NATO Response Force, European Union Battle Groups and the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force, therefore, once there is a political decision, there is also the legal basis to deploy our soldiers at short notice and ensure crisis management.

Baltic Protector

Exercise Baltic Protector is running from 24 May to 8 July and involves approx. 3 thousand seamen and marines and 20 warships from all the nine UK-led JEF nations. Troops will conduct maritime tactical exercises, shore landings, logistical operations, and other amphibious drills in order to enhance interoperability, as well as cooperate with other NATO allies during the deployment.

The first deployment of the JEF Maritime Task Group of such scope showcases the ability to ensure security in the region.

Key exercise dates in Lithuania:

June 28/29 — nighttime coastal landing by the Royal Marines and joint exercise with soldiers of the National Defence Volunteer Force in Nemirseta.

June 28 –July 3 headquarters company of the 3 Commando Brigade of the United Kingdom and platoons from units of the Motorised Infantry Brigade Griffin and the National Defence Volunteer Force Žemaičiai Military District will train tactical operations at Kairiai Training Area.

Point of contact for the exercise: Lithuanian Armed Forces Strategic Communication Department Officer Capt Andrius Dilda: +370 618 32 490, andrius.dilda@mil.lt

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