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Installing of the air firing range completed in Kazlų Rūda training area, exercises are planned for this autumn

Installing of the air-to-ground firing range complying with NATO standards has been completed at Brigadier General K. Veverskis Training Area in Kazlų Rūda. Works also included renovation of roads, installing of firefighting system. The first exercise is planned for this autumn already.

“What we have at present was only a dream some time ago, but to achieve such dream three components are needed: allies to provide support, friends to work together, and motivated personnel. Today all these components are present here: allies – the USA, friends – the Pennsylvania National Guard and all of you who have accomplished the entire work. Despite different challenges, excellent results have been achieved through your sustained, professional and sincere collective work. I would like to thank Lithuanian and American servicemen who contributed to this project, and I believe that in future our cooperation will become even more intensified,” Commander of Training and Doctrine Command of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Brigadier General G. Zenkevičius said at the official range handover ceremony organised at the Kazlų Rūda Training Area on 6 September.

The General presented the Divisions of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Medals of Distinction to the military engineers of the Red Horse Company of the United States Pennsylvania National Guard who conducted the works of installing the range.

„I am delighted to extend my thanks for the professional work completed by Lithuanian and American servicemen in installing the range and to stress over again that only by joint efforts we can achieve positive results required to ensure peace,” Major Sean Rufolo, Deputy Chief, Office of Defense Cooperation, United States Embassy, said during the ceremony.

Works of installing the air firing range at the Kazlų Rūda Training Area began in the autumn of 2017. The strategic ally of Lithuania – the United States of America, has considerably contributed to this project. The U.S. also provided experts, who estimated combat training infrastructure requirements, advised on safety issues and installed the range objects.

The start of operating the air firing range in Kazlų Rūda Training Area is planned for October as soon as detailed measurement of weapon danger areas, i.e. certification, is completed. The first training of joint terminal attack controllers is scheduled for this autumn in the form of regional exercise for joint terminal attack controllers.

The air firing range in Kazlų Rūda Training Area is only a part of present modernisation of this object. Renovation and enlargement of individual training ranges as well as improvement of field camping conditions for Lithuanian and allied troops will be continued.

Increasing manpower, procurement of weaponry and equipment as well as intensified allied presence determine increased training, storage and host nation support requirements, therefore, the Ministry of National Defence focuses on renovation and development of military infrastructure in order to create conditions of training for both, our and allied soldiers. The infrastructure projects are carried out not only through national funding but also from the NATO Security Investment Programme, European Reassurance Initiative, European Deterrence Initiative and participants of NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion. Infrastructure development plans are drafted for five training areas, but the main focus is on the development of General S.Žukauskas Training Area in Pabradė and Gaižiūnai Training Area near Rukla, both officially identified to be critical state objects.

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