Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis has appointed Lieutenant Colonel Dainius Guzas as the new commander of the Lithuanian Air Force, the Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
Military air force
© Augustas Didžgalvis

Guzas served as the Air Force's deputy chief of staff for operations before his new appointment.

Guzas began his service in the national defense system in 1992 and rose through the ranks of the Air Force to become the commander.

His predecessor, Audronis Navickas, lost the post of the Air Force commander, over plans to send Lithuanian military helicopters to Russia for an overhaul. Navickas has taken the Defense Ministry to court over his dismissal.

According to the Defense Ministry, the process of sending the Mi-8 helicopters to Russia was cleared by high-ranking defense officials before it was stopped at the last stage in 2016.

The Foreign Ministry says that helicopter repairs in Russia would have run counter to the European Union's decisions on sanctions against Moscow and to Lithuania's foreign policy.

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