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First shift of joint Police Operational Mentor and Liaison Team deployed to the mission in Afghanistan
October 29, 2010

On October 29, joint Police Operational Mentor and Liaison Team was deployed to the mission in Afghanistan. It will assist in training Afghan National Police Forces. Personnel of the unit numbers 20: 18 members of the LAF Military Police and the Pennsylvania National Guard, and two officers of the Public Security Service under the Ministry of the Interior of Lithuania.

Vice Minister of National Defence Rimas Jonaitis, Chief of Defence of Lithuania Maj Gen Arvydas Pocius, Interior Service General Sergejus Madalovas, Chief of Public Security Service, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania Anne Hall, and families of departing troops and officers attended the ceremony.

„Troops departing to carry out this mission manifest determination and will of Lithuania and USA to render assistance to Ghor province. A year ago it was very hard to imagine that today we would have a well-trained multinational unit to entrust with the vital task of training Ghor police. I am sure that efforts of these men will help Ghor policemen become more professiona - and that would be a great step forward in transferring responsibility for the province to Afghan Government", said Vice Minister of National Defence Rimas Jonaitis. Vice Minister also thanked USA, strategic Lithuania's partner, for having provided a weighty input into formation of Police Operational Mentor and Liaison Team.

Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Vilnius A. Hall said in her turn that USA is proud to have Lithuania as partner and for the fact that Lithuanian and US troops jointly work in Afghanistan.

Officers of Public Security Service (PSS) are being deployed with Lithuanian military on a multinational mission for the first time. Tomas Žilinskas, Director of Public Safety Policy Department of the Ministry of the Interior, expressed his joy during the deployment ceremony that POMLT was a great example of cooperation between the Lithuanian Armed Forces and Public Security Service as well as between Lithuania and USA. "From now on we will be able to counter threats not only inside but also outside our country and so create a safe space hand in hand with the Lithuanian Armed Forces ", he said thanking Lithuanian Armed Forces for the opportunity to deploy two PSS officers with the Police Operational Mentor and Liaison Team.

POMLT will start its activity in Ghor in November together with the incoming rotation of the Lithuanian-led PRT. POMLT personnel including Lithuanian and US troops, and PSS officers underwent pre-mission training in Lithuania. The main aim of POMLT is to train, advise, and by other means support readiness of Afghan national police forces to complete relevantly tasks in their mandate.

Police Operational Mentor and Liaison Team established jointly with USA is Lithuania's effort to intensify support to Afghan security forces in Lithuania's responsibility area, Ghor province, where the majority of national security forces are local police.