President of the Republic of Lithuania

Patriot systems tested during NATO exercise in Lithuania

2017-07-20

Thursday, July 20, Šiauliai  President Dalia Grybauskaitė watched NATO air force exercise Tobruq Legacy 2017. The U.S. Patriot long-range air defense system - one of the most sophisticated systems in the world designed to counter missiles and advanced aircraft - was deployed in Lithuania for the first time.

According to the President, the deployment demonstrates strong commitment of the United States and NATO to the Baltic region, based on real action - not words. Effective long-term regional air defense is necessary for the security not only of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland, but also of the whole NATO.

The multinational Tobruq Legacy exercise is held in Lithuania for the first time. It involves troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Latvia. The drills are conducted concurrently in Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Romania. Twenty two countries are taking part in the exercise across the three countries, with Lithuanian soldiers also engaged in the Czech Republic and Romania.

Tobruq Legacy aims to test the readiness of allied and Lithuanian troops to counter air threats, protect the armed forces from missile attacks and enhance interoperability among defense units. The exercise is also important for the further development of air defense architecture in Lithuania and the other Baltic states.

The President emphasized that air defense is key for national defense. Long-term solutions are critical for the security of the Baltic countries. NATO defense plans should include specific air defense measures to prevent possible military isolation of the Baltic states. If threats arise, NATO’s air policing mission must become an integral part of air defense.

According to the President, Lithuania has the required infrastructure and military capacity to host allied air defense forces. Lithuania can provide command, control and coordination to air defense units. It will organize the multinational exercise Tobruq Legacy in 2020.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2017.08.10 10:13

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