While in the Baltic States, LTG Wojciechowski spoke with the key leaders of the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Armed Forces, including LTG Martin Herem (Estonia's Chief of Defence), LTG Leonīds Kalniņš (Latvia's Chief of Defence), BG Mindaugas Steponavičius (Chief of Defence Staff, Lithuanian Armed Forces) and BG Raimundas Vaikšnoras (Commander Lithuanian Land Force). The meetings served to enhance defence partnerships and cater for emerging challenges throughout the Baltic region. As emphasized by all of the involved parties, they have a united stance on regional security.
At the same time, LTG Wojciechowski had a detailed insight as to how the MNC NE chain of command works under deployment conditions. The Commander visited the Corps' two multinational divisions, four national brigades and the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battalions.
Placed under MNC NE, Multinational Division North East (headquartered in Elbląg, Poland) coordinates activities of the Lithuanian Iron Wolf and Polish 15th Mechanized Brigade as well as their subordinate eFP Battle Groups. In this way, the Division Headquarters strengthens the integration between NATO's eFP battalions with their respective Host Nation Defence Forces so they can act together in a variety of settings including combat. Operating at a high level of readiness, the Corps' divisional command is prepared to carry out collective defence operations in accordance with Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
Its equivalent in NATO's northern region is Multinational Division North (headquartered in Ādaži, Latvia). Once fully operational, the Division will work in close collaboration with eFP Battle Groups and national brigades across Estonia and Latvia, and thus consolidate the Corps chain of command in the northernmost portion of the Alliance.
You widen NATO's spectrum of deterrence, readiness and response is how LTG Wojciechowski pointed to the importance of both divisional structures.
During his battlefield circulation, the General had a chance to meet with service members and leaders of NATO's eFP Battle Groups as well as their superior brigades operating in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. They all provided LTG Wojciechowski with shared expertise on their mission capabilities. The General spoke highly of the units integration and knowledge of the operational environment. "Your proficiency sharpens Multinational Corps Northeast's tactical edge," the General stated.
The way you train and complete tactical scenarios together is a
testament to our Corps' ability to shape the regional security
environment, deter conflict and, if required, apply defensive force, he added.
As reminded by the Corps Commander, this close integration between the national brigades and eFP multinational battalions lies at the heart of NATO's deterrence and defence posture in the Baltic region. If need be, they will act under the MNC NE multinational divisions and reinforce the Corps in its role as the only NATO land forces regional command.
Finally, LTG Wojciechowski received a warm welcome in NATO Force Integration Units (NFIUs) located in Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius. The visits served as an opportunity for the General to get a firsthand look at the NFIUs current tasks and capacities. LTG Wojciechowski praised the units accomplishments and emphasized their crucial importance to the Corps and NATO, specifically in terms of linking Allied forces into the regional security structures.