• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland
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  • 25 July 2017

    NATO's Tobruq Legacy-2017 air defense military exercises were launched in Lithuania for the first time on July 20 July 2017.

    Lithuanian journalists learnt about the Orlik 7 mission of the Polish Military Contingent, which handed over NATO's mission (Baltic Air Policing) for ensuring security in the airspace of the Baltic States.


    The Chargé d' Affaires of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland to Lithuania Maria Ślebioda and Polish Defense Attaché Col Miroslaw Wójcik together with the President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite, and National Defense Minister of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis watched the  NATO Tobruq Legacy 2017 air force exercise. It involved troops from Lithuania and four NATO countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Latvia.


    The air defense training is to take place in Siauliai, northern Lithuania, from July 11-22. Exercises are held simultaneously in Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Romania.


    "The anti-aircraft defense component consisted of  the 15th Bombardment Regiment in Gołdap, the 8th Regiment and officers of  the Air and Missile Defence Department Polish Armed Forces General Command participated in  the NATO Tobruq Legacy 2017 exercises. The Polish component consists of 72 soldiers and 19 vehicles, we are training with allies managing fire process, combating aerial assault," said Lt. Col. Radosław Kudra.


    "At the same time, these exercises serve to exchange experiences – it is probably the most important thing that we can share the capabilities of our equipment, the training of our soldiers.


    I am very proud to say that we have nothing to be ashamed of – our soldiers are very well trained. Our allies – Americans, Lithuanians – notice this also. Our goals, defined before the exercise,  have been 100% achieved, I am very pleased with this participation, and I hope that next year we will also take part in the next Tobruq Legacy exercise, because value added is very important in every soldier's life”, the Commander added.


    The Polish soldiers emphasized that the armaments of the Polish army made a great impression on the allies. "Gromy and Zura-23 were especially interesting for our allies from the United States and Great Britain. Colloquially speaking you could say that we have made a show of our equipment," Lieutenant Colonel Rafał Chmura, senior specialist in the Air and Missile Defence Department Polish Armed Forces General Command stressed.


    During the presentation of the equipment and meeting with President Dalia Grybauskaitė, the Polish soldiers were surprised that the president spoke to them in Polish. "It was an initiative of the President, and we were very surprised. We felt very honoured, it also facilitated the transfer of information "– the Polish soldiers said. They were also keen to emphasize how grateful they were to the Lithuanians for their hospitality and efficient reception during the exercises.


    During the study visit of the journalists, a Polish pilot gave a static demonstration of the F-16 aircraft,  and interviews were held with the leadership of "Orlik 7". Journalists were particularly interested in the work and role of a Polish falconer (pl. Sokolnik) at the airport.


    This is the 7th rotation of Polish pilots under the Baltic Air Policing Mission. Poland is the most committed NATO country that carries out this mission. ORLIK 7 is the 44th rotation among all NATO countries performing AIR POLICING tasks in the Baltic States: the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Latvia. ORLIK 7 consists of over 100 personnel with various specializations needed for performing tasks and four F-16 multi-purpose fighters. The task of ORLIK 7 is to ensure the integrity of NATO airspace in the Baltic States by QRA combat duty with the effort of 2 aircraft 24/7 and to assist military and civilian aircraft in emergency situations during the flight.



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