President Dalia Grybauskaitė, who is on a working visit in the United States, visited the Pennsylvania National Guard headquarters and met with Commander Major General Anthony J. Carrelli.
During the meeting, military cooperation between Lithuania and the U.S. as well as partnership of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the Pennsylvania National Guard were discussed.
The President highlighted that the United States is Lithuania’s strategic security partner and the presence of American troops in the region guarantees greater security. The President thanked the Pennsylvania National Guard for 25 years of successful partnership with the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
The participation of the Pennsylvania National Guard in military exercises in Lithuania demonstrates that the U.S. forces contribute to Lithuania’s national defense in real terms.
Lithuania is interested in the active involvement of national guard troops in joint exercises with NATO battalions deployed to Lithuania and Poland, which would help to secure the Suwałki defendability.
The Pennsylvania National Guard has a strong cyber capacity and is interested in contributing to the regional cyber security center to be set up in Kaunas through expert knowledge and experience.
The Pennsylvania National Guard is actively engaged in training Lithuanian officers and mechanized infantry units as well as in modernizing Lithuania’s military infrastructure.
Lithuania has long-standing historic ties with the Pennsylvania National Guard. Officer Samuel J. Harris and 19 other National Guard officers from Pennsylvania came to Lithuania in 1919 and helped fight the Bermontians. There is a street named after him in the Aleksotas borough in Kaunas.