RUKLA, Lithuania - NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Lithuania conducted their 5th rotation of troops Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, at Rukla Barracks, Lithuania.
The departing commander, Lieutenant Colonel Rene Braun, who has served in Lithuania for the past six months, handed the authority over to the new commander, Lieutenant Colonel Peer Papenbroock in a ceremony in Rukla.
Germany, Netherlands and Czech Republic represent the three new contingents now in the battlegroup. Dalia Grybauskaite, president of Lithuania, and Ursula von der Leyen, minister of defence in Germany, were present during the ceremony.
"We want to make clear that Lithuania is not alone and will never stand alone," von der Leyen said during the event press conference. "It will never again have to sacrifice its freedom and independence. We will stay here with the Bundeswehr as long as we're needed, and as long as the security situation requires it."