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Dec 1 2023

Lithuania celebrates Armed Forces Day alongside Allies from across NATO

SZCZECIN, Poland – On November 25, the Lithuanian Armed Forces marked the 105th anniversary of their restoration with a grand parade in the country's capital Vilnius. At Constitution Avenue, more than 1,400 Lithuanian and Allied military personnel were joined by thousands of Lithuanians who came to demonstrate their support for Lithuania's Armed Forces. 

Led by Lithuania’s Chief of Defence General Valdemaras Rupšys, the celebration ceremony saw many distinguished participants, including the President of Lithuania, the Minister of National Defence, former Presidents and NATO Commanders. "Throughout its history, the Lithuanian Armed Forces have showed the world that the longing for liberty and dignity cannot be erased from people’s hearts," said Lieutenant General Jürgen-Joachim von Sandrart, Commander Multinational Corps Northeast, who attended the event. "Because Lithuania suffered such a great deal of oppression at the hands of totalitarian regimes, the Lithuanian Armed Forces have become a cornerstone of Lithuania’s democratic society and our Alliance – serving in war and peace as a beacon of freedom."

GEN Rupšys (right) and LTG von Sandrart (left) inspect the Lithuanian and Allied formations on the eve of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Day, Vilnius, Lithuania, November 24, 2023 © LTU Armed Forces

Among the many troops participating in the parade were the German-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Lithuania as well as multinational soldiers representing the eFP Battlegroups from Estonia and Latvia, and the U.S. Army. 

Additionally, the audience saw over 110 pieces of military equipment, such as Vilkas Infantry Fighting Vehicles, PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers, NASAMS air defence systems, Abrams and Leopard main battle tanks, and many more. To mark this special occasion, the Lithuanian Air Force and the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission detachment performed a fly-past over Constitution Avenue in Vilnius.  

The Lithuanian Armed Forces Day parade, Vilnius, Lithuania, November 25, 2023 © LTU Armed Forces
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Video © SFC Bridget J. Vian

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

Special thanks to NATO Force Integration Lithuania for their help in preparing the article

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