On April 10 Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis met with the new Commander of the Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum, General Riccardo Marchio, in Vilnius, and discussed regional security, topicalities on NATO agenda, including the NATO presence in Lithuania, and the anticipated results of the upcoming NATO Summit, including adaptation of the NATO Command Structure. Gen R. Marchio was appointed as the JFC Brunssum Commander on February 21 succeeding General Salvatore Farina.
“In the context of the current threats, it is particularly important to ensure the Alliance is capable of responding quickly and decisively, and to counter both, conventional an hybrid threats, and it has to be reflected in the new NATO Command Structure and other decisions in ensuring reliable deterrence and defence,” Minister R. Karoblis said. He also stressed that air and maritime support needed to be ensured for the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Poland and the Baltic states in order to strengthen the Alliance’s deterrence.
Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen Jonas Vytautas Žukas and Commander JFC Brunssum Gen R. Marchio discussed regional security situation, activities, using and strengthening the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania, and exchanged views on the adaptation of the NATO Command Structure.
Gen R. Marchio thanked Lithuania’s Chief of Defence for the close cooperation with the JFC Brunssum and the NATO units hosted by Lithuania.
The new JFC Brunssum Commander also visited the Defence Staff of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and met with its Chief Maj Gen Vitalijus Vaikšnoras and Commander of the NATO Force Integration Unit in Lithuania (NFIU) Col Jakob Sogard Larsen, to discuss the activities of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania, its integration in the national armed defence plans and deployment to action in case of a crisis or military conflict.
On Thursday Gen R. Marchio is meeting with Commander of the NATO eFP Battle Group Lithuania Lieutenant Colonel Wolf Rüdiger Otto and Commander of the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf Colonel Mindaugas Steponavičius, as well as with soldiers of both units. Also, his visit to the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence in Vilnius is also scheduled.
The Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum leads the NATO mission in Afghanistan Resolute Support, NATO Response Force (NRF), and is responsible for generation of the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). It also ensures communication between NATO command and military structures.
Photo credits: Alfredas Pliadis (MoD), Defence Staff of the Lithuanian Armed Force