Army founding new brigade in western Lithuania

Dalia Grybauskaitė and Gen. Vytautas Jonas Žukas
DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

A decision on the new brigade of the Land Forces was made by the State Defence Council on Friday.

“The new motorized infantry brigade will be established in western Lithuania. The brigade staff is planned to be set up in 2016, it will be based on the personnel of the Operational Planning and Command Canter of the Land Forces leadership that already operates in Klaipėda, it will manage two battalions, namely, the Lithuanian Grand Duke Kęstutis Mechanized Infantry Battalion and the Lithuanian Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion,” Captain Mindaugas Neimontas, spokesman for the Lithuanian chief of defence, told BNS on Friday.

In his words, new infantry and artillery battalions should be added to the brigade by 2021.

Lithuania currently has one land brigade – the Mechanized Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf. In Neimontas’ words, a proposal has been made to supplement it with a Logistics Battalion by 2021.

Iron Wolf staff and its divisions are located in Rukla, a town in the central Lithuanian district of Jonava.

Lithuania’s Armed Forces now include about 8,000 troops of professional service, with plans to constantly raise the number. About 4,500 volunteer troops serve in the National Defence Volunteer Force.

Lithuania has started stepping up its defence capacities in response to the Russian aggression in Ukraine and the increased military activity in the Baltic Sea region.

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