A new unit of the Lithuanian Land Force, the Motorised Infantry Brigade Žemaitija, founded in an official ceremony on Friday.
Motorised Infantry Brigade Žemaitija. Photo Ministry of National Defence

The ceremony in Klaipėda University campus was attended by Defence Minister Juozas Olekas, Commander of the Land Force Major General Almantas Leika, Klaipėda Mayor Vytautas Grubliauskas and representatives of military units.

The unit, the second brigade within the Lithuanian Land Forces, will have its headquarters in Klaipėda with the Operational Planning and Control Centre of the Lithuanian Land Force HQ at its core.

Two current battalions of the Lithuanian Land Force, the Lithuanian Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion (stationed in Klaipėda) and the Lithuanian Grand Duke Kęstutis Mechanised Infantry Battalion (stationed in Tauragė), will be also assigned to the new brigade.

Over 2016, the Brigade is to be supplemented with logistical, reconnaissance and signals companies, subordinate directly to the Brigade staff.

Two new battalions are to be formed in 2017, one of infantry and one of artillery. The new Brigade will have the same mission as the existing Iron Wolf Brigade, i.e., to protect and defend land territory, and to carry out defensive and offensive assignments.

The basis of the Brigade will be personnel of the Continuous Mandatory Initial Military Service. Positions of command and specific expertise (soldiers, sergeants, NCOs and officers) will be filled from the roll of professional military service personnel.

The Motorised Infantry Brigade Žemaitija is to be formed completely by 2021.

Command of the new motorised infantry brigade will be assumed by Lieutenant Colonel Artūras Radvilas, graduate of the Baltic Military College and United States Army War College.

When the Motorised Infantry Brigade Žemaitija is established, it will form the basis of the Lithuanian Land Force together with the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf.

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