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Jul 17 2023

Headquarters Multinational Corps Northeast helps provide security for NATO Vilnius Summit

SZCZECIN, Poland – On July 3-15, a group of assigned service members from Headquarters Multinational Corps Northeast (HQ MNC NE) was deployed in Vilnius as part of NATO's military contribution in support of the Vilnius Summit. Led by Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS), the Joint Task Force Operations Centre served to assist the summit and Lithuanian Allies in the provision of situational awareness, coordination of operations and operational planning.

On July 11-12, the heads of state and government of the 31 NATO countries met in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius – around 30 kilometers from the border with Belarus and only 160 kilometers from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. The Alliance brought out multinational forces to protect the summit, including troops, fighter jets, state-of-the-art air defense systems, artillery and capabilities to protect against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. This served to ensure security, but also demonstrated unity and strength in the midst of Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

NATO leaders assemble in the plenary meeting during the Vilnius Summit © NATO
Military convoys enter Vilnius in order to ensure the safe execution of the Vilnius Summit © Lithuanian Armed Forces
The Lithuanian Army Lieutenant Colonel Saulius Ivanauskas of HQ MNC NE © Major Gerrit Hohmann

Assisting the Joint Task Force Operations Centre, HQ MNC NE's team comprised several expert from different military branches. Lieutenant Colonel Saulius Ivanauskas, a logistics officer and the Senior National Representative for the Lithuanian contingent at HQ MNC NE, was a liaison between the Lithuanian Defense Staff Joint Operations Center and the Vilnius-based HQ MNC NE cell in order to support timely decision making on a wide scope of logistical issues. "Although I have been in logistics for over 20 years, I still gained some new experience here," he says, "I was able to observe other functional areas which contributed to the overall success of this event, and I personally believe it will help me to fulfill my tasks in the future." 

NATO members had a good opportunity to test equipment, communications, procedures at all levels in executing Supreme Allied Commander Europe’s tasks to counter Russian threats across all domains. 
The Vilnius Summit was secured by multiple Allies, including the Host Nation forces, as well as NATO Partners, e.g. Sweden © Lithuanian Armed Forces
Aside from MNC NE's contribution, JFCBS was supported by a great many Allies and Allied entities, including NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) Lithuania. Attached to the MNC NE chain of command, its primary mission is to foster collaboration between national and NATO forces on a wide on a variety of security issues.

Additionally, the summit's safe execution was ensured by NATO partners from the Swedish Armed Forces who run a highly mobile laboratory linked into the Joint Force Task Operations Centre so that all data could be immediately transferred there. This close cooperation between multiple nations have proven viable and robust. "It can be achieved only when information is shared among all joint functions in real or close to real time, decisions are timely made, activities are coordinated and tasks properly executed," Ivanauskas says, and summarizes that working together towards a common goal lies at the very heart of NATO:

It gives you a profound understanding that you are not alone – not only in executing such big events but also military tasks within their framework.

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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Multinational Corps Northeast
Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin

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Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin