more will be later. Off. MOD site doesn't have many photos(well there some good ones,only those with lithuanian text ) and one of the main mill web sites with lots of photos is temp. unavaliable (hacked ). But I say patience
No this is not Gelezinis Vilkas. There is a thread in milphotos.net called "lithuanian army Gelezinis vilkas". This is wrong. Someone should cahnge it Gelezinis Vilkas (in English "Iron woolf")is a name of a Rapid Reaction Brigade,which will be fully opperational in 2008 to react as a compositive force of NATO. e.a. a brigade provided for NATO rapid responce. Now it has one mech.batalion fully equiped by NATO standarts (and I think this year there will be one or two more mech battl.). There is an artilery batalion and HQ. Brigade equiped with fairly good stuff-M113, Unimog, Sisu(near future) trucks,humvies, armed with AK4 (intentions to change it into more modern G36), MH2'50cal., MG3/FN MG machine guns, Carl Gustav, Javelin anti-tank systems,Stinger anti-aircraft systems. Brigade is the backborne of the ground forces, though it is not the whole army. The army is going to be mobile,redeployable in short period anywhere in the world (at least some units required). Though not going to expand about whole army here in this topic..
Lithuania delegates medics,water cleaning specialists and Special Forces to NATO RRF.
These pics represent part of Lithuanian SF some period ago.
This is a new cammo patern. Particulary good in lithuanian climate(essp. the last photo represents that),though quality...always could be better
G36 purchased in Germany,yes.
Lithuanian Special Operations Forces’ (LITHSOF) roots date back to 1944 when Lithuania started armed resistance against the Soviet regime. The tactics used by resistance fighters were the same ones used by SOF today–i.e. raids, unconventional warfare, clandestine ops, etc. Modern LITHSOF started in 1995 from a small counterterrorism (CT) unit, which by 2004 expanded into the special operations forces of now, under one command.
In the Lithuanian armed forces structure, LITHSOF is a separate type of force, at the same level together with Army, Navy and Air Force. The formation directions given in 2001, along with the dedication, professionalism and motivation of those men and women of LITHSOF, made it the highest readiness, professional, top-tier force in Lithuania. Its unique structure and combat formation, with a flexible task organization of unit structure, variable in size and equipment depending on mission, helped LITHSOF conduct combat operations in support of OEF for 25 months continuously.
Currently LITHSOF is capable of conducting continuous-rotation expeditionary ops deployment, while at the same time having a squadron for the CT response inside the country if necessary. Though it is not the primary CT force for criminal situations inside Lithuania, it will take over in situations like NEO, HR of the Lithuanian citizens in crisis regions. LITHSOF is also the country’s main response force for maritime CT or interdiction in Lithuanian waters in the Baltic Sea. LITHSOF is also fully capable of conducting joint NATO maritime counterterrorist activities if necessary.
One of the LITHSOF truths says: “… the man is more important than hardware…” The reality proves that again. Even the most sophisticated equipment will be worthless without the well-trained operator who sometimes costs a dozen times more to maintain at the appropriate level. Investing in the operators is one of the most important issues for LITHSOF nowadays. A lot of men and women undergo intensive courses in communications, IT systems, different maintenance training as well as English language training.
As for equipment, Lithuanian SOF run their own research, evaluation and development cell that has as a primary task: to look at a new technology, evaluate it and, if it is worthwhile, install in the whole force as necessary. The reality is that, due to relatively small budget, it is vital to prioritize necessary equipment. Very often simple phrases like “need that,” “want that” and “would like to have that” do a lot to help. It is also very important to obtain the top technologies available for a reasonable price. For example, LITHSOF has just recently started to install the MBITR/TACSAT radios (PRC-148s and PRC-117Fs) after a very thorough and detailed study because it was the most cost effective. The same is true with all the other equipment vital for the missions: SIGINT, thermal imaging, UAVs, body armor, etc.
Another challenge is to make operators able to combine the capabilities of the equipment they wield with their skills and, most importantly, improvise and keep everything “stupid simple.”
Recent warfare, like GWOT, showed that the determining factor of success in the multinational operations is the coalition countries’ SOF ability to fight together on the front lines in the first days of the campaign. One of the most important lessons learned from joint coalition warfare was to evaluate the ability of the troops to conduct joint operations before going to combat operations. Before deployments, every commander must always be sure that every single one of his soldiers is operating at an adequate level and understands what he is going to face. All of the shortfalls of certain skills, joint preparation or equipment necessary for the joint coalition SOF should be identified as soon as possible and fixed. Continuous international cooperation helps to accomplish that before the real situation calls. Being operationally deployed at the front lines in the battlefield and carrying out missions that shape upcoming operations is a very hard and demanding job. Multinational task forces require soldiers and commanders that can trust each other and, most importantly, trust the valuable lives of their soldiers into other commanders’ hands if needed. Readiness, motivation and interoperability are the keys to the success of joint operations, regardless of the coalition you are about to go to the fight with, whether NATO SOF or the host country’s paramilitary units.
Another important issue is that there must be a very tight international cooperation between SOF and the Air Force. In modern warfare this tandem has proven itself as the decisive criteria in early battles of the campaigns as well as in follow-on operations. Small countries that cannot afford big and modern aviation should develop this type of cooperation, working together with a framework nation’s close air support assets. This has been a very good thing for pilots who rarely have a chance to talk to nonnative English speakers.
International SOF cooperation has never been so important as today, but therefore the fact that NATO countries’ SOF are in enormous OPTEMPO makes it very difficult. The reality shows that joint multination SOF training exercises in the past transformed into lessons learned, briefings or just simple talk with brothers-in-arms, sharing the experience with a glass of beer somewhere in Kandahar or in FB in the outskirts of Baghdad.