Norway’s Royal couple to visit the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence, Lithuanian and Norwegian Minister of Defence to meet
On April 24-25 Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen of Norway will conduct a visit in Lithuania and the Ministry of National Defence. The high-ranking guests will meet with Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis and soldiers of Norway deployed in Lithuania.
During the visit Lithuanian and Norwegian Defence Ministers will also meet bilaterally to discuss security challenges in the region, the countries’ objectives in the coming NATO Summit, and the Lithuanian-Norwegian bilateral cooperation in strengthening defence capabilities and increasing force interoperability.
After the bilateral meeting Ministers will proceed to the General S.Žukauskas Training Area in Pabradė to meet with leadership of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf, Commander of the NATO eFP Lithuania Lt Col Wolf Rudiger Otto, and soldiers of Norway serving in the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group.
Lithuania and Norway are developing defence cooperation in several areas: defence policy planning, training. Minister, Chiefs of Defence, Policy Directors, etc., are constantly convening in multilateral formats: Nordic-Baltic, Northern, UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) that contributes to a stronger defence cooperation.
Norway helps enhancing security in the Baltic states by deploying soldiers to the German-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania as of the middle of last year, and taking part in the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic states (with three rotations of troops and aircraft so far – in 2005, 2007, and 2015).
Norway also helps to strengthen the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The two countries’ bilateral military cooperation became more active when the Ministry of National Defence launched a project for procuring components and missiles of the mid-range Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) from Norway. Two air defence batteries will be bought and installed in the Lithuanian Armed Forces until 2020. The Air Defence Battalion of the Lithuanian Air Force is operating the RBS-70 mid-range air defence systems bought from Norway. The Lithuanian Armed Forces procured vessels from Norway for the Lithuanian Navy, and more projects have been completed.
Soldiers of Lithuania and Norway cooperate and learn from each other’s experience at various exercises. Several tens of specialists from the Lithuanian Air Force, Navy, and Land Force, soldiers of the Special Operations Forces and logisticians took part in exercises in Norway over the past decade. The cooperation is particularly active between the special forces.
Lithuania and Norway also cooperate on the implementation of the Baltic projects: BALTRON (Baltic Naval Squadron), BALTNET (Baltic Airspace Surveillance System) ir BALTDEFCOL (Baltic Defence College)