On Thursday, President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė observed the progress of the Tobruq Legacy 2017 international military exercises in Šiauliai, where she stated that the US Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems should be placed in the Baltic region.
NATO's Tobruq Legacy-2017 air defense military exercises were launched in Lithuania on July 11 and will end on July 22. They involve about 500 military personnel and 30 air defense personnel from the UK, the US, Latvia and Poland.
Before the start of the US exercises, the American Patriot missile system was deployed to Lithuania. It was used on Thursday as part of the exercise. In early July, an agreement was signed to ship the Patriot missile system to Poland.
"The speed of a response to the air threats sometimes is very important, so in fact it would be advisable to have such weapons in the Baltic region. This would provide a higher level of security for all of our countries," Grybauskaitė told reporters in Šiauliai.
The Lithuanian leader noted that the defense capacities of the whole region should be coordinated "so that we could complement each other instead of duplicating defenses where they are not needed."
According to the Ministry of Defense of the Republic, NATO air defense exercises are conducted in Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Romania. The maneuvers are headed by the headquarters of the Joint Force Air Component, located in Romania (NATOJFAC). The United States initiated and organized the Tobruq Legacy-2017 exercises.
According to the presidential palace, in 2020, Lithuania will organize NATO’s Tobruq Legacy international training exercises.