On 1 July, a US Air Force's C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft landed at Vilnius International Airport bringing 80 members of the Germany-based 4th Infantry Division's Mission Command Element (MCE) under the command of Brigadier General Michael Tarsa for combined training in Lithuania, the Ministry of National Defence Said.

The MCE soldiers will be training at Adolfas Ramanauskas Warfare Training Centre Nemenčinė for a week and will also join training exercises across several regions of Lithuania. The US military and soldiers assigned to the Lithuanian Land Force Headquarters will carry out joint training to exchange experience and hone interoperability, while the guests will also familiarise with the specifics and geography of Lithuania as a whole and its regions.

"For a week, soldiers of the Lithuanian Land Force HQ and the Mission Command Element will be not only matching and coordinating their actions but will also exchange experience which will facilitate planning and coordination of joint future operations. We hope this joint exercise with the MCE of the 4th Infantry Division is just one in a series of joint future events that will only become more numerous with time and which will grow into a wider-spectrum cooperation," Chief of Staff of the Lithuanian Land Force Colonel Dalius Polekauskas said.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity to familiarise and exchange experience with Lithuanians, one of our most meaningful partners in this Alliance. Deployment of the Mission Command Element is part of Operation Atlantic Resolve which tests our abilities," Commander of the Mission Command Element and Deputy Commanding General of the 4th Infantry Division Brigadier General Michael Tarsa said.

The 4th Infantry Division Headquarters is stationed in the United States of America, while the Mission Command Element is deployed in Germany and serves an intermediate headquarters responsible for the US-led Operation Atlantic Resolve in the Baltic States and Poland. The United States continues demonstrating its unwavering commitment to the security of the Baltic region through the development of cooperation between Lithuania and the 4th Infantry Division and by enhancing the interaction with the Lithuanian Armed Forces.

The United States commenced Operation Atlantic Resolve in spring 2014 following the aggressive Russia's action in Ukraine to demonstrate its commitment to the security of NATO allies and contributes to the implementation of the agreed NATO measures of deterrence by boosting interoperability amongst allied nations through various types of exercises and training.

Since the launch of Atlantic Resolve six rotations of US troops have already taken part in combined training in Lithuania together with soldiers serving with the Lithuanian Land Force and rotational units of other NATO allies, namely, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, and Portugal. Soon a new US shift will deploy on the ground to replace the previous shift.

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