Dutch soldiers in Lithuania again trained in full. For example, a unit normally used with a wheeled Boxer armored vehicle has now been deployed to launch an air attack. An RAF Puma helicopter shot down soldiers in the deployment area. There they had to arrest the suspect and return him. It has succeeded.
Dutch soldiers further trained the medical chain with their German and Czech colleagues. This included treating the victims after the bombing to take them to a field hospital from Floor 2.
Former Dutch international players from the world of football and basketball – the so-called legends – were guests at Rukla Barracks. There they got an insight into the work of the army in Lithuania. To relax, I followed a soccer game – how could it be otherwise. German, Dutch, Norwegian and Czech teams competed against each other. Next, he faced the Norwegian winner De Legends.
Last week, Dutch soldiers also welcomed 100 children from Ukraine for a day of sports and games. Led by a military sports coach, they did all kinds of activities at the Utena football stadium.
Since 2017, the Netherlands has been contributing to the strengthening of the military presence (Reinforced Forward Presence) of NATO in Lithuania. The defense currently deploys 270 to 300 soldiers. The force is in the Baltic state to show that NATO stands idly by and to show solidarity with the Lithuanian people. The Russian invasion of Ukraine demonstrates once again that the Dutch military’s participation in the eFP is important. The focus is on military exercises in an international context.
In addition to Dutch contributions to defensive operations, the armed forces also make available ships, army units, and aircraft for the first major mission of defense: the defense of the Allies in the NATO treaty area. See an overview of the Dutch military contribution to NATO.
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