Czech army decorates soldiers after Lithuanian mission |

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Czech army decorates soldiers after Lithuanian mission

Czech army decorates soldiers after Lithuanian mission

Czech Chief-of-Staff Ales Opata decorated more than 230 soldiers for their six-month deployment in the military mission in Lithuania at the Vitkov Memorial in Prague. "You confirmed the good reputation of our units abroad. Your work is also appreciated by foreign partners," Opata said.

A Czech mechanised company was deployed within the NATO enhanced forward presence (eFP) in Lithuania. A smaller unit of reconnaissance and electronic warfare specialists has replaced it at the beginning of this month. Last year, a total of 450 Czech soldiers took part in two different six-month rotations in the area.

The Czech military sent soldiers to the NATO Baltic region to participate in the creation of four multinational battalions of the eFP. The Alliance initiated the formation of the battalions as a reaction to the rising concerns of its Eastern members about The Russian Federation steps in the wider region.

The contingent commander, Vaclav Pejchar, said intensive training with the Allies was the main contents of the mission. He said no serious problems occurred during the six-month deployment.

Germany commanded the Allied battalion in Lithuania. Apart from Czechs, soldiers from Belgium, Iceland, the Netherlands and Norway took part in it.

Russia does not agree with the deployment of Allied troops in the Baltic states. According to some reports, Russia is trying to disturb the operation of the troops. Pejchar said they were prepared for this.

Czech soldiers had Pandur armoured personnel carriers in Lithuania. Due to the risk of the African swine fever that occurred in the Baltics, the vehicles and other equipment and clothes had to be disinfected before the return home.

For Pejchar, this was his third foreign mission. Before Lithuania, he was two times in Afghanistan. He said the main difference between these missions was that in Afghanistan soldiers had to be ready for fighting against rebels, while in Lithuania it was a fight against a conventional enemy. Pejchar said Lithuania showed that the Allied troops were able to defend any part of NATO territory together.

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