Photo credits: I.Budzeikaitė and LITHSOF
On June 29 personnel of the Lithuanian Special Operations Force’s Aitvaras squadron departed from the province of Zabul of Afghanistan. The Lithuanian military have transferred the responsibility for security in the province to local security forces thus successfully completing the task entrusted to them by NATO and leadership of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Since 2007 Lithuanian Special Operations Squadron has been completing high-intensity combat assignments in Zabul province of Afghanistan as part of NATO’s ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) and trained for carrying out its duties a special rapid response company of Afghan National Police in Zabul.
Having left Zabul the Lithuanian Special Operations Forces personnel are still acting as part of NATO operation in Afghanistan and are completing combat tasks in Kandahar province where their assignment is to provide training for the special rapid response company of the Afghan National Police in Kandahar.
The formal transfer of responsibility for security ceremony y was held in Zabul on June 4. “The fact that we are able to finalise the training we have been providing for local security forces and to transfer the responsibility for security for the special company of the Afghan National Police in Zabul is a clear evidence that our Special Operations Forces troops are successful with reaching the objectives of the multinational operation in Afghanistan,” Commander of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Arvydas Pocius said at the ceremony.
While completing the tasks of NATO operation in Zabul Lithuanian military received plenty of praises from allies for their readiness level and the ease with which they were fulfilling the most complex of the tasks.
The tasks of the Lithuanian Special Operations Forces troops in Zabul was to train officers of the special company of the Afghan National Police and to prepare them for independent completion of their duties: from operational planning and completion of tasks to operational control.
Also, Lithuanian troops were completing special operations of different spectra (special reconnaissance, identification and neutralisation of enemy commanders) to enhance the effect of training and contribute to the improvement of the security situation in the province. While delivering training Lithuanians not only delivered their experience for their Afghan students but also earned the trust of the local security forces.