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August 31-September 4, Adjutant General of the US Pennsylvania National Guard Maj Gen Jessica L. Wright will pay a work visit in Lithuania by invitation of the Chief of Joint Staff of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Brig Gen Algis Vaičeliūnas.

During the visit US General will meet with the Minister of National Defence Rasa Juknevičienė, Chief of Defence of Lithuania Maj Gen Arvydas Pocius, Chief of Joint Staff Brig Gen Algis Vaičeliūnas, Commander Lithuania Air Force Brig Gen Artūras Leita, Commander Lithuanian Land Force Maj Gen Jonas Vytautas Žukas, Commander Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces Lt Col Romualdas Moldaris, Commander of the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union Col Antanas Plieskis.

High ranking US officer will take part in the rotation of air contingents on the Baltic Air-policing mission on September 1 at the LAF Airbase (Šiauliai) where Polish Air Contingent will hand over responsibility for the mission to the US Air Contingent.

One of the main points on the US General’s agenda is discussion over establishment of a joint Lithuanian-US Police Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (POMLT) in Ghor, province of Afghanistan, to be held at the Ministry of National Defence with ministerial and military representatives.

In the conference held in July in Kabul international community approved the goal set forth by Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, to transfer responsibility for ensuring security in the country on Afghan National Security Forces by the end of 2014. NATO supported this aspiration by committing to train and support Afghan National Security Forces. Lithuania implements the agreement by intensified support to local forces in its region of responsibility, Ghor province, where the main local force is police. In the last quarter of this year POMLT which will train policemen in Ghor will be formed. Involvement of the Pennsylvania National Guard will enlarge long-term successful Lithuania’s cooperation with the US forces in Ghor, Afghanistan. Currently the Pennsylvania National Guard is represented in the National Support Element of the Lithuanian-led Chaghcharan PRT.

Lithuania and the Pennsylvania National Guard have been developing cooperation for 17 years. During that period over 300 of various military events were organised for Lithuanian and troops and members of the Pennsylvania National Guard.

The Pennsylvania National Guard is composed of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. It is the largest national guard in the USA. Service in the Pennsylvania National Guard is not the main occupation for its members who also have civilian jobs. However, it is a high readiness unit that fought in every war that USA has ever been involved in, and usually made the majority of combat capabilities. In 2006 the Pennsylvaia National Guard marked its 370th anniversary.

Units of the Pennsylvania National Guard are components of the active US reserve. National Guard may be mobilised for active duty in case of war or any other case by order of the Congress, the President or Defence Secretary, to supplement regular forces.

Last visit of Maj Gen J. L. Wright in Lithuania took place in 2009.

Source: kam.lt