Lithuanian Land Forces

Lithuanian Land Force
Lietuvos sausumos pajėgos
Insignia of the Lithuanian Land Force.svg
Insignia of Land Forces Command
Active1919–1940, 1991–present
Country Lithuania
BranchArmy
TypeLand force
RoleDefend territory of Lithuania and act as an integral part of NATO forces
Size8,850 active duty[1]
5,650 active reserves[1]
Part ofLithuanian Armed Forces
Garrison/HQVilnius
Motto(s)Vienybėje jėga, tikėjime - pergalė!
(Translation: "Strength in unity, victory in trust!")
EquipmentLithuanian army equipment
WebsiteOfficial site
Commanders
Current
commander
Brigadier general Artūras Radvilas
Chief of StaffColonel Viktoras Bagdonas
Insignia
Flag of Lithuanian Land ForceFlag of the Lithuanian Army.svg
Flag of Land Forces CommandFlag of Land Forces Command (Lithuania).jpg
Military unit
Flag of the Lithuanian Armed Forces
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The Lithuanian Land Forces (LLF) form the backbone of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, capable of acting as an integral part of NATO forces. Lithuanian Land Forces consist of three brigades, the Engineer Battalion, and the National Defence Volunteers Division.

Structure

The main element of the Land Forces is a single mechanised infantry brigade, the Iron Wolf Mechanised Infantry Brigade. This is formed around three mechanized infantry battalions and an artillery battalion, all named after Lithuanian grand dukes as the tradition of the Lithuanian Armed Forces goes.

In addition to the formed infantry brigade, the Land Forces maintain a second brigade composed of three motorised infantry battalions and one artillery battalion; one of these is tasked to support operations both domestically and overseas; one is tasked primarily with the defence of territorial Lithuania. There is a third brigade, which is a mobilization brigade but in peace time is a training unit.

Juozas Vitkus Engineer Battalion is responsible for mine clearance, the construction of pontoon bridges, unexploded ordnance detonation tasks, underwater engineering, and participation in search and rescue operations. The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Platoon is ready to participate in international operations. Starting in 2008, the Lithuanian Armed Forces launched a 10-year-long project continuing mine cleaning on Lithuanian territory of explosives left after the First and Second World War, and in former Soviet military bases.

As an integral part of the Land Forces, the National Defence Volunteers have been developing since the beginning of the national movement for independence. The volunteers act smoothly together with the Allies during military operations and have been assigned new missions: to augment the regular forces, to deploy individual units and specific capabilities for international operations, to assist host nation support and to support the civilian authorities.

Units

Structure of the Lithuanian Land Forces, 2020 (click to enlarge)

With the reintroduction of conscription in 2015 the Lithuanian Land Force began an expansion of its main combat formations, which concluded in early 2017:

  • Insignia of the Mechanized Infantry Brigade "Iron Wolf".svg Iron Wolf Mechanized Infantry Brigade, in Rukla:[2]
    • Headquarters and Headquarters Company, in Rukla
    • Insignia of the Lithuanian King Mindaugas hussar Battalion.png King Mindaugas Hussar Battalion [lt], in Panevėžys
    • Insignia of the Lithuanian Grand Duchess Birutė uhlan Battalion.svg Grand Duchess Birutė Uhlan Battalion [lt], in Alytus
    • Algirdo-batalionas.png Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanized Infantry Battalion [lt], in Rukla
    • Vaidoto-batalionas.png Prince Vaidotas Mechanized Infantry Battalion [lt], in Rukla
    • Insignia of the General Romualdas Giedraitis artillery Battalion (Lithuania).png General Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion, in Rukla with PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers
    • Logistics Battalion, in Rukla
    • Reconnaissance Company, in Rukla
    • Signal Company, in Rukla
  • Insignia of the Samogitia Motorized Infantry Brigade.svg Lithuanian Grand Hetman Jonas Karolis Chodkevičius Motorized Infantry Brigade Žemaitija [lt], in Klaipėda:[3] (activated 1 January 2016)[4]
    • Headquarters and Headquarters Company
    • Insignia of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion.png Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion [lt], in Klaipėda
    • LDK Kestučio pėstininkų bataliono emblema.jpg Grand Duke Kęstutis Motorized Infantry Battalion [lt], in Tauragė
    • Margirio batalionas.png Prince Margiris Motorized Infantry Battalion, in Radviliškis
    • Peciulionio artilerijos bat.jpg Brigadier general Motiejus Pečiulionis [lt] Artillery Battalion, in Pajūris with M101 howitzers
    • Logistics Battalion
    • Reconnaissance Company
    • Signal Company, in Klaipėda
  • Aukštaitija Light Infantry Brigade, in Vilnius: (activated 23 March 2017) [5]
    • Headquarters and Headquarters Company
    • Light Infantry (Reserve) Battalion
    • Light Infantry (Reserve) Battalion
    • Light Infantry (Reserve) Battalion
    • Artillery (Reserve) Battalion with M101 howitzers
    • Logistics Battalion
    • Reconnaissance Company
    • Signal Company
  • Insignia of the Juozas Vitkus Engineer Battalion.png Juozas Vitkus Engineer Battalion [lt], in Kaunas
  • Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces
Lithuanian soldiers

The Aukštaitija Light Infantry Brigade is a reserve formation: during peacetime its staff teaches at the Lithuanian Armed Forces Training and Doctrine Command, while its four maneuver battalions are made up of reservists. The only active units are the brigade's reconnaissance company (which is composed of conscripts) and the headquarters, signal and logistic units (which are composed of professional soldiers). When called upon the brigade will field around 4,500 troops.

Equipment

Lithuanian PzH 2000 howitzer

In reforming the Armed Forces, most of the available attention and financial resources have been directed to the development of the Land Forces. Lithuania has been modernizing its armed forces since 1990s and by now nearly all equipment is compatible with the NATO standards. The current efforts focus on increasing the firepower, acquiring new equipment and armaments, enhancing their operational effectiveness and combat training. The standard service assault rifle of the Lithuanian Armed Forces is the Heckler & Koch G36 and the standard pistol is the Glock 17. The Lithuanian Land Forces are also equipped with machine guns, including the GPMG MG-3, the FN MAG, and the 12.7mm (.50 cal.) M2 Browning machine gun. They also employ the AT-4 anti-tank rockets and Carl Gustav anti-tank recoilless rifles, HK GMG high-velocity grenade launchers, and low-velocity AG-36 under-the-barrel grenade launchers, in addition to light and heavy mortars. The army also uses high-technology Lithuanian-made tactical automated commanding and controlling informational systems (TAVVIS).

Reserves

Lithuanian soldiers during an exercise.

Lithuanian Land Forces are formed from professional military servicemen and volunteers. In 2008 the minister of national defence of Lithuania signed a law that ceased conscription in an effort to develop Lithuania's professional army. National defence is based on reserve forces and mobilisation forces. The new minister plans to increase national defence capabilities by making all males from 18 to 24 take 7 week military basic training. After that the person will be added to the military reserves.

The military conscription has been renewed in 2015 with a first draft of approx. 3000 draftees including volunteers, who will be assigned to military units starting from August 2015 and will complete a 9-month basic training. The updated law specifies that a draft of 3000 soldiers annually will continue at least until 2020, citing as the reason for renewed conscription the increased geopolitical risks in the region.[6]

Notes

  1. ^ a b Hackett 2022, p. 124.
  2. ^ "Mechanized Infantry Brigade "Iron Wolf" » Units". Lithuanian Army. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Motorized Infantry Brigade "Samogitia" » Units". Lithuanian Army. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  4. ^ Media, Fresh. "Lietuvos kariuomenė :: Kariuomenės struktūra » Sausumos pajėgos » Padaliniai » Motorizuotoji pėstininkų brigada „Žemaitija"". kariuomene.kam.lt. Archived from the original on 29 January 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  5. ^ Media, Fresh. "Ministry of National Defence Republic of Lithuania :: News » News Releases". kam.lt. Archived from the original on 24 March 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Lithuania's Defence Ministry releases military draft list". En.delft.lt. Retrieved 3 October 2017.

References

As of this edit, this article uses content from "Lithuanian Armed Forces :: Structure » Land Forces", which is licensed in a way that permits reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, but not under the GFDL. All relevant terms must be followed.

  • Lithuanian Ministry of Defence site
  • Stefan Marx, 'Lithuania's Defence Structure,' Jane's Intelligence Review, September 1993, p. 407–409
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Army of Lithuania.

Sources

External links

  • Map of the dislocation of the units of the Lithuanian Land Force in 2020
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