Change of Command at eFP Battlegroup Lithuania
Dalia Grybauskaite, president of Lithuania, and Ursula von der Leyen, minister of defence in Germany, pose with soldiers of the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania, February 4, 2019. (Courtesy photo)
Feb 5, 2019
NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Lithuania conducted their their 5th rotation of troops Monday, February 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.”
The German Supply Battalion 4 has replaced the Armoured Battalion 393 and The Dutch 13th Motorized Brigade is replacing the 43rd Mechanized Brigade. The Czech 41st Mechanized Batallion continues to serve the eFP, but with a different company. New German, Dutch and Czech contingents are now preparing their next exercises, both within each nation and on multinational levels.
There is also a JTAC team from Norway with just over 10 soldiers and public affairs officers from Belgium and Iceland. About 1,000 soldiers are now at eFP Battlegroup Lithuania.