Lithuanian and Latvian defence ministers visit exercise Steadfast Juncture 2011
NATO regularly conducts exercises in order to carry out training and test capability to command and control a multinational force in the event of a crisis. NATO Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) carried out one such exercise, Steadfast Juncture 2011, from 1-12 November in Lithuania.
The aim of the exercise was to achieve advanced or full operational capability for the NATO Response Force 2012 and to be ready for the stand-by period from January to December 2012. The exercise scenario was based on a fictional NATO-led crisis response operation with humanitarian assistance under a United Nations mandate.
During the exercise, the Lithuanian and Latvian defence ministers, Rasa Juknevičienė and Artis Pabriks, visited the Nemenčiné and Pabradė training areas together with their Chiefs of Defence and around 60 high-level guests
General Wolf Langheld, Commander Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum and the designated commander of the NATO Response Force 2012, welcomed the visitors at the Warfare Trainings Centre (WTC) in Nemenčiné. “More broadly, one of the great successes of this exercise, thus far, has been the sustained high quality of host nation support which has set a standard others will find challenging to match,” said General Langheld.. “I would like to take this opportunity to formally convey my thanks to Lithuania for their dedicated and professional approach in this area,” he added.
After an introductory briefing on the exercise scenario the guests went to the Pabrade training area. Here they had the opportunity to talk to staff and to gain first-hand experience of certain elements of exercise Steadfast Juncture. The defence ministers and other guests watched a live demonstration by the Lithuanian Force Protection Company who were responsible for securing the training area during the exercise.
The programme concluded in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius, where the group attended an exhibition entitled, “Innovative Energy Solutions for Military Applications” hosted by the Lithuanian Energy Security Centre and sponsored by the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency
The Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Rasa Juknevičienė declared, “I’m happy and proud that the exercise Steadfast Juncture 2011 is going smoothly and successfully. Despite that this is the first NATO exercise in Lithuania I hope there will be more of them conducted in our country in the future,” she said.
NATO Allied Joint Force Command Headquarters (JFC HQ) Brunssum was certified as the Joint Headquarters for the NATO Response Force 2012 through exercise Steadfast Juncture 2011.