Ground Warfare

German Armed Force 45th Brigade Lithuania Headquarter Deploys to Vilnius

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German Armed Force 45th Brigade Lithuania Headquarter Deploys to Vilnius

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German Armed Force 45th Brigade Lithuania Headquarter Deploys to Vilnius
German Armed Force 45th Brigade Lithuania Headquarter Deploys to Vilnius

On April 8 the headquarters initial command element of the 45th Brigade Lithuania of the Bundeswehr (German Armed Force) and Commander of the German Army Lt Gen Alfons Mais. The headquarters initial command element of the German brigade to be stationed in Lithuania will comprise over 20 servicemembers. The first arrivers will settle in in Vilnius and oversee the planning and military infrastructure conformity requirement agreement. The initial element will keep expanding until the end of the year and will also take charge for assistance in moving the military personnel from Germany to the new stationing location. Germany has made a commitment to deploy a heavy brigade with three maneuver battalions and all necessary enablers, including combat support and provision units, to Lithuania.

The 45th Brigade Lithuania will be formed by existing and newly established units. The 203rd Panzer Battalion from North Rhine–Westphalia and the 122nd Panzergrenadier Battalion from Bavaria will be moved to Lithuania, while the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Lithuania will be transformed into a multinational battalion and become an integral part of the brigade. In total, approx. 5000 German military and civilian personnel are expected to move to Lithuania with families in stationing the Brigade. They will serve across two locations – R?dninkai and Rukla, military families will stay in Kaunas and Vilnius, additional logistical hubs will be developed in other areas of Lithuania as well.

German  soldiers will focus on training tactical movement using their military equipment, moving from their permanent base in Rukla to other Lithuanian territories.
German soldiers will focus on training tactical movement using their military equipment, moving from their permanent base in Rukla to other Lithuanian territories. (Photo by Lithuanian MoD)

Lithuania and Germany signed an inter-state agreement on the deployment of the German brigade in December 2023. Troops assigned to the German brigade will arrive in Lithuania gradually. The entire German brigade is expected to be deployed by 2027. The German troops will be based in Vilnius and Kaunas, but some logistical elements are planned in other parts of Lithuania. One of the key tasks for hosting the German brigade is to agree on the civilian infrastructure, including all the necessary services for the families arriving with the soldiers. The core of its brigade in Lithuania would consist of two tank battalions, with a third battalion initially to be formed by the German-led NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battle group. The brigade in Lithuania will be called Panzerbrigade 42.

Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) is a NATO-allied forward-deployed defense and deterrence military force in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. This posture in Northern Europe through Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and in Central Europe through Poland, Slovakia and Hungary and in Eastern Europe through Romania and Bulgaria, is in place to protect and reassure the security of NATO’s Northern, Central and Eastern European member states on NATO’s eastern flank. Following Russia’s invasion of Crimea, NATO’s member states agreed at the 2016 Warsaw summit to forward deploy four multinational battalion battle groups to areas most likely to be attacked. The original four multinational battalion battle groups are based in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, and led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and the United States respectively.

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