Twelve troops of the Lithuanian Armed Forces' 2nd Ship Maintenance Group are leaving for southern and central part of the Mediterranean Sea on Friday to join the European Union's (EU) military operation Sophia.
Operation Sophia

The troops will replace the 1st Ship Maintenance Group for three months after it served in Germany's naval support vessel FGS Rhein since March 6 of this year.

Just like the 1 st team, the 2nd team consists of troops of the Navy, the Military Police and the Special Operations Force. The team is headed by an officer of the Navy.

The group's main task in the operation is to intercept, inspect and detain ships on the suspicion of carrying unlawful weapons and migrants.

In the framework of the Sophia operation, the 1st Lithuanian team demonstrated superb results – after searching a motor boat El Mukthar sailing under the Libyan flag in international waters, it revealed and, for the firs time in the history of the operation, seized a shipment of smuggled weapons.

Lithuania has been contributing to the EU operation Sophia since 2015. The operation is aimed at cracking unlawful human smuggling and trafficking rings in southern and central part of the Mediterranean Sea region, train Libyan coast guard and naval forces, as well as contribute to the enforcement of the embargo of the United Nations in open sea at Libyan coasts.

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