The Annual Nordic-Baltic Chiefs of Defence meeting held in Klaipeda, Lithuania
On January 31 the Chiefs of Defence of Nordic and Baltic countries’ met at the Headquarters of the Lithuanian Navy in Klaipeda. At their two days meeting issues of regional security, joint military projects, such as organizing joint military exercises in the Baltic Sea region, contribution to NATO and the EU-led operations, military capabilities in multinational operations as well as modern security challenges – energy and cyber defence, and their influence on overall security as well as on defence and military capabilities were discussed.
The Chief of Defence of Denmark General Peter Bartram, the Chief of Defence of Estonia Brigadier General Riho Terras, the Chief of Defence of Finland General Ari Puheloinen, the Chief of Defence of Latvia Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube, the Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Arvydas Pocius, the Chief of Defence of Norway General Harald Sunde and the Head of the Plans and Policy Department of the Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters Major General Dennis Gyllensporre participated in this meeting.
The topic of the Nordic-Baltic Armed Forces involvement in operation in Afghanistan after 2014 was also addressed. NATO Member and Partner States have confirmed their commitment to support the Afghan National Security Forces with training, equipment and funding as well as by assisting to develop the Afghan capabilities even after the transfer of responsibility to local forces will be completed.
In early January 2013, several Latvian officers began to serve in the newly established Nordic-Baltic Transition Support Team. This unit’s main tasks are to advice and sustain combat support elements of the Afghan National Security Forces in Balkh and Samangan provinces. Presently a Latvian officer again, like it was at the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Maymana, is appointed Acting Deputy Commander of the Transition Support Team which should be regarded as high assessment of Latvian soldiers’ professionalism and expertise.
The Nordic-Baltic Chiefs of Defence also discussed the Baltic States soldiers’ participation in the Swedish-led EU Battlegroup which is scheduled for 2015.
The possible cooperation in developing joint military veterans’ system was examined.
The participants of the meeting got acquainted with recent trilateral Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian Memorandum of Understanding on defence and military cooperation as well as with the Nordic countries defence co-operation (NORDEFCO) plan for 2013.