On January 6 deployment of the 7th shift of the Lithuanian National Support Element (NSE) to Afghanistan will take place in Marijampolė. The ceremony will be attended by Vice Minister of National Defence Mykolas Juozapavičius, acting Chief of Defence Commander of the Lithuanian Air Force Maj Gen Edvardas Mažeikis, Director General, Ministry of Defence reports.
for Capabilities and Armaments of the Ministry of National Defence Brig Gen Almantas Leika, commanders of units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, representatives of the Municipality of Marijampolė and families of soldiers.
The new shift to assume responsibility for logistic provision of Lithuanian troops in Afghanistan will be led by Lt Col Petras Montvila, at the moment still the commander of the Vytenis General Support Logistic Battalion.
Staff of NSE-7 includes approximately 20 troops, a major part of who serve with the Vytenis General Support Logistic Battalion. The rotation will also include US and Ukrainian servicemembers. NSE-7 staff covers a range of specialisation areas – finance, procurement, loading and movement control, storage, and others.
National Support Element was established n the Lithuanian Armed Forces in 2009 to improve logistic provision for Lithuanian military deployed on multinational operations and control of the provision.
The core group of NSE is based in International Kabul Airport. Individual servicemembers also conduct duty at International Kandahar Airport, and the NSE Provision Unit – with the Lithuanian-led Chaghcharan Provincial Reconstruction Team.
Currently approximately 260 Lithuanian troops serve in Afghanistan. They are dispersed across the ISAF Regional Command-West, province of Ghor, NATO commands in Kabul and Herat, Kandahar Airport, NATO mission in the south of Afghanistan.