On 7 January 2014, the Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas discussed co-operation of Lithuanian and US special operations forces in collective multinational missions, exercises and training events at a meeting with Major General Marshall Bradley Webb, Commander of the US Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR), the Ministry of National Defence has informed.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the United States for the support and assistance for the Lithuanian Special Operations Forces which have proved to be an exceptional force and a vital element of the NATO Special Operations Forces in the international operation in Afghanistan as well as in joint international exercises,” Minister Olekas said at the meeting held at the Ministry of National Defence.
“I think it is crucial to maintain and continue strengthening the cooperation between our Special Operations Forces and to identify other areas for cooperative work without limiting ourselves to what has already been achieved,” Olekas continued.
Minister Olekas also underlined the importance of regional-level co-operation of the Special Operations Forces. According to the Lithuanian Defence Minister, Lithuania primarily aims at enhancing cooperation among the Baltic and Nordic countries and Poland.
“Regional cooperation matters not only in terms of defence, we need to have as much interoperable forces as possible to be able to deploy them to missions worldwide in case of necessity,” the Minister stated.
The Minister of National Defence also expressed his support for the US Special Operations Forces’ initiative regarding global network of special operations forces which could contribute significantly to international security.