NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group change of command ceremony to take place in Rukla

On February 6 rotation and leadership of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group (eFP BG) will change over at the Lithuanian Great Hetman Jonušas Radvila Training Regiment in Rukla (Jonava region).

The ceremony is planned to be attended by Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis, Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys, Vice Chief of Defence of Germany Vice Admiral Joachim Rühle, commanders of units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, representatives of countries forming the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group, and other guests.

Lt Col Rouven Habel of the Bundeswehr, eFP BG 6 commander since August, will relinquish to Lt Col Axel Niemann of the Bundeswehr, commander of the incoming 7th eFP BG rotation.

Currently the German-led rotational NATO eFP Battle Group Lithuania comprises over 1 thousand troops of contingents delegated by Germany, Netherlands, Iceland, Croatia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Norway, and Luxembourg.

Deployed at the Training Regiment in Rukla since the beginning of 2017, the multinational BG is integrated into the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Soldiers of the NATO eFP Battalion Battle Group Lithuania constantly and actively train and take part in all major exercises in Lithuania during the deployment. The multinational unit has started excellent relations with our soldiers, as well as with local communities, schools, municipal administrations. They participate actively in various cultural and social projects, commemorations of historical and state holidays of Lithuania.

The NATO eFP Battalion Battle Group Lithuania is a direct response to aggressive provocative actions of Russia in the vicinity of NATO borders which have led to deterioration of stability and security and predictability of the security situation, and changes in the security environment . The decision to deploy NATO eFP Battalion Battle Groups along the eastern NATO border was taken in July 2016 at the NATO Summit in Warsaw by request of the Baltic States and Poland.

Countries leading the NATO eFP BGs deployed for deterrence and defence purposes in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland are currently Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Their presence means that an attack against one ally means an attack against all. This presence also means the largest in history enhancement of the NATO collective defence which also includes NATO presence in the Black Sea region.

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