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Lithuanian chief of defense congratulates troops on Armed Forces Day, speaking of hard times for the army

Kariuomenės paradas Vilniuje
Alfredo Pliadžio nuotr. / Kariuomenės paradas Vilniuje
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Lithuania's Chief of Defense Lieutenant General Arvydas Pocius congratulated troops on the Armed Forces Day and said that, due to limited resources, this year has not been easy for the armed forces. He thanked the soldiers who "ignored difficulties."

"This year has not been easy for the Lithuanian army. We've had limited resources to ensure national security, train troops and we've also had to meet our international commitments. I am grateful to troops who ignored difficulties and carried out all assigned tasks like Homeland defenders are supposed to do," Pocius said addressing participants of a ceremony in central Vilnius.

Pocius later told reporters the army continued carrying out assigned tasks even amid limited funding.

"Worldwide, land forces, of course, make the backbone of an army. Existing challenges are that somewhere and sometimes we need to carry out certain special operations. But special operations cannot be carried out without ships and planes. So everything is comprehensive, and I cannot distinguish some one type of army. All types of army do one job together and only this way can we achieve common goals," the lieutenant general said when asked which section of the army should receive most funding in the future.

On Friday, leadership of Lithuania's national defense system, members of the Seimas, foreign defense attachés as well as Vilnius residents observed the formation of around 500 Lithuanian troops representing all types of military forces in the Cathedral Square.

Troops were also congratulated by Speaker of the Seimas Vydas Gedvilas and outgoing Minister of National Defense Rasa Juknevičienė. The minister expressed delight that young people were actively undergoing basic military training.

"I wish you do not stop and courageously go forward as you can buy iron in a day, but you need time and effort to train a person," Juknevičienė said.

"I would like to congratulate troops from all Lithuanian armed forces. All of you are very important, all of you have to be elite as you are related to each other and only by working together are you capable of defending this land," the minister said.

Lithuania celebrates the Day of Armed Forces on 23 November, marking the day when the then Prime Minister Augustinas Voldemaras signed an order giving legal basis for the formation of the Armed Forces of Lithuania.

Over 14,000 troops currently serve in Lithuania's Armed Forces.

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