Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė presented the Cross of Commander of the Order for Merits to Lithuania to the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, General Raymond T. Odierno. Later on, they discussed the security situation in the region, the presidential press service said.
General Raymond T. Odierno receives decorations from Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė. Photo R.Dačkus

The state decoration was awarded to General Odierno by presidential decree on the occasion of the State Day of Lithuania for the promotion and development of bilateral relations and for exceptional merits in the military field.

On behalf of the Lithuanian people, the president thanked the General for strengthening the security and the defence capacity of Lithuania as well as for his direct contribution to enhancing military cooperation between Lithuania and the United States.

The US Army Chief of Staff, General Raymond T. Odierno, is the principal military advisor to the president and the Secretary of Defence. He is among the staunchest and most resolute supporters of the decision to deploy US forces in Lithuania as a deterrent to hostile forces in response to the changed security environment in the Baltic States region. The General supported the European Reassurance Initiative by issuing directives on reinforcing the security of the Baltic States and initiating Operation Atlantic Resolve which ensured the stationing of an additional US brigade in Europe.

General Raymond Odierno has always maintained that a specific number of American troops is required to guarantee security in Europe. It is the only way to effectively implement the commitment to European security.

Lithuanian servicemen served in Iraq when Gen. Raymond Odierno commanded the US 4th Infantry Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 to 2004 and when he commanded the Multi-National Corps in 2006-2008.

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