The Commander Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS), General Jörg Vollmer, visited NATO's Eastern flank in Lithuania from 16 to 17 June.
In Vilnius, he first met with the Lithuanian Defence Minister, Arvydas Anušauskas, before having meetings with the Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys, with regard to Lithuanian NATO engagement. Amongst other issues, topics touched upon included readiness, interoperability and coherence as well as deterrence and defence.
Additionally, General Vollmer's itinerary saw him visit the NATO Force Integration Unit in Vilnius for the occasion of the Change of Command. Whilst there, he took the opportunity to underline the important role of this element as an "initial point of contact for deploying Allied Forces."
The unit bid farewell to their very first Commander, Colonel Jakob Sogard Larsen.
"I am grateful for Colonel Larsen's outstanding and charismatic leadership and for his commitment, starting with initiation through to the robust establishment of the unit. I could rely on Colonel Larsen at any time," General Vollmer highlighted.
As part of NATO's adaptation to security challenges from the east and the south, the Alliance has established eight Force Integration Units (NFIU) in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
This follows a decision taken at NATO's Wales Summit in September 2014 as part of the Alliance's Readiness Action Plan: a comprehensive package of measures designed to respond to the changed security environment on the Alliance's borders.