"During the mission, we demonstrated our fully-fledged participation in NATO. Our soldiers well represented Lithuania in difficult situations, while performing the reconstruction work," Defense Minister Juozas Olekas told journalists.
"This is the completion of our mission in Ghor province. The (final) mission will be shorter than the rotations of other PRT in Ghor, but will involve just as many dangers and responsibilities, as they have to finish the work. They have to finish everything, hand the base over to the local administration and return home safely," said the minister.
Military Advisory Team (MAT) and Operational Coordination Center Advisory Team (OCCAT), that will provide mentoring for the local security forces in Ghor, will travel to Afghanistan along with the military contingent of the PRT-17. Lithuanian military who will be posted to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF) Central Command in Kabul and the Regional Command-West in Herat will be formally deployed during the same ceremony.
The 17th shift of the Lithuanian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team, which will close the PRT mission Ghor, is formed mainly by the General Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion of the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf. In 2009 the Battalion’s military personnel were deployed to Afghanistan with the PRT-9.
Lithuania has scheduled closing the PRT mission and withdrawing its personnel from Ghor by the end of 2013.