Rukla, Lithuania - a year ago, on 7th February, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite welcomed the soldiers of the battlegroup who, as part of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence, began their service in Rukla. The framework country of the battlegroup is Germany. It also includes soldiers from Croatia, the Netherlands and Norway.
Today, on 5th February, at the parade square in Rukla, a ceremony was held to commemorate the first anniversary of the deployment of the NATO battlegroup soldiers in Lithuania. The ceremony was attended by Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, Minister of Defence Raimundas Karoblis and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevicius, Deputy Secretary General of NATO Rose Gottemoeller, as well as senior representatives of states whose soldiers serve as part of the battlegroup. The Commander of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum, General Salvatore Farina was also present at the ceremony. The Multinational Division North East was represented by the commander Brig. Gen. Krzysztof Motacki.
During the ceremony, there was also a Transfer of Authority. Lt. Col. Wolf Rudiger Otto took over as Commander of the battlegroup from Lt. Col. Thorsten Gensler.
Photos by: www.nato.int, Srž. sp. Ieva Budzeikaitė (source: www.facebook.com/hqmncne)