January 3, change of command ceremony will be held at the Baltic Naval Squadron (BALTRON) in Liepaja, Latvia. The current commander Lt Cdr (Lithuanian Navy) Andrius Širvys will hand over duties to Lt Cdr (Latvian Navy) Dmitrijs Jankovs.
BALTRON staff will rotate as well. Lt (N) Egidijus Oleškevičius will represent Lithuania as BALTRON Chief of Staff, Lt (N) Egidijus Mickus as Staff Signal and Communications Systems Officer and CPO Tomas Donauskas as Staff Administrator. Last year BALTRON Staff also included Lithuanian Operations Officer – Lt (N) Klevas Tubis.
Mine countermeasures vessel KURŠIS M54 of the Lithuanian Navy begins a half-year tour of duty in 2012 as well, the ship is under the command of Lt Cdr Tadas Jablonskis. It will replace command and supply ship JOTVINGIS N42 led by Lt (N) Vytautas Šakalys.
According to the BALTRON Activity Plan in 2012, BALTRON staff and ships will participate in BALTRON training events (Lithuania), trilateral Lithuania’s, Latvia’s and Estonia’s exercise Baltic Fortress 2012 (Lithuania), multinational seafloor mine clearance exercise Open Spirit 2012 (Estonia), international exercise Baltops 2012 (central area of the Baltic Sea), international Baltic seafloor sweeping operation (Estonia), international military exercise Danex/Northern Coasts 2012 (Germany, Denmark) and BALTRON seafloor mine clearance operation (Latvia).
BALTRON (Baltic Naval Squadron) was established in 1998, the unit is formed by international staff provided by Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
Tasks of BALTRON are the following: to conduct search and neutralization operations of mines and undetonated ammunition remaining in the Baltic Sea after World War I and World War II, and to strengthen security of the Baltic territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone of the Baltic states. The unit also serves as training platform before deployment with NATO units.
For the media: for more information contact LITHNAVY CIMIC officer Lt (N) Antanas Brencius, phone 00370 46 391 207, 00370 698 181 96.
Ministry of National Defense Republic of Lithuania
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