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http://sof.lt/
http://soj.lt/



Lithuanian Special Operations Force

    * Special Purpose Service (SPS);
    * Vytautas the Great Jaeger Battalion (VGJB);
    * Combat Divers Service (CDS);
    * Special Operations Element (SOE)

Lithuanian Navy

    * Povandeninių Veiksmų Komandos (KJP)

Lithuanian Air Force

    * Special Operations Unit



Lithuanian Special Operations Force

Active 2002–present
Country Lithuania
Branch special forces
Type specialised infantry
Role counter-terrorism operations, special missions (direct action, special reconnaissance, rescue of hostages, and protection of VIPs)
Part of Lithuanian Armed Forces
Nickname "Žaliukai" ((English) like “forest / green brothers”)
Engagements War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
SOF soldiers
Vytautas the Great Jaeger Battalion soldiers

The Lithuanian Special Operations Force (SOF) (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Specialiųjų Operacijų Pajėgos) special operation unit of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, formed exclusively of carefully selected, motivated and specially trained professionals. The main tasks of the Special Operations Force are counter terrorism, special reconnaissance, and hostage rescue.

Lithuanian Special Operations Force has been in operation de facto since 2002 and it was established de jure April 3, 2008, when amendments of the National Defence System organisation and military service law came into force. [1] SOF is formed from the Special Operations Unit.

Contents

    * 1 Structure and tasks
    * 2 History
          o 2.1 Establishment
          o 2.2 Operational history
    * 3 See also
    * 4 References
          o 4.1 Sources
          o 4.2 Notes
    * 5 External links
          o 5.1 Media

Structure and tasks

The structure of the Lithuanian Special Operations Force (SOF) is flexible which makes it easy to form squadrons intended for concrete operations and missions from its elements. The core of the Lithuanian SOF is:

    * 20.png Special Purpose Service (SPS);
    * Ltmil1.jpg Vytautas the Great Jaeger Battalion (VGJB);
    * Combat Divers Service (CDS);
    * Special Operations Element (SOE) (subordinate to the Unit at the level of operations management).

One of the main missions of the Lithuanian Special Operations Force is counter-terrorism operations beyond the territory of Lithuania. The SOF also carries out other special missions: direct action, special reconnaissance, rescue of hostages and protection of VIPs. The SOF can be called upon inside the territory of Lithuania when law enforcement agencies lack necessary capabilities to react to terrorist attacks.

History

Establishment

Soon after Lithuania re-established its independence from the Soviet Union on March 11, 1990, the need arose to form armed units. One of the first such units was Aukščiausiosios Tarybos Apsaugos Skyrius.[2] One of the main tasks of this unit was to protect the Lithuanian Parliament. In the following years, the Lithuanian army underwent various restructuring processes. After the reorganization of Kaunas Vytautas the Great motorized infantry battalion in 1995, the separate Vytautas the Great Jaeger Battalion (named after Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas the Great) was established, which would become one of the core units of Lithuanian Special Operations Force.[3]

Unofficial formation of the Special Purpose Service was started in 1995; after two more years the Service was officially established. After the 9/11 terror attacks, the main tasks of the Special Purpose Service became counter-terrorism, terrorist liquidation and hostage rescue.[4] Members of Special Purpose Service are called Žaliūkai, meaning green-men and were named after the Forest Brothers.

After a 2007 reorganization, the Combat Divers Service (CDS) was established, whose main task became special underwater and surface operations.

Among the most secretive Lithuanian Special Operations Force units are squadrons referred to by the codename Aitvaras (named after traditional Lithuanian mythological spirit Aitvaras). The first public acknowledgment of the existence of the Aitvaras squadron was in 2000, when Lithuanian sailors were captured in Guinea.[2] Aitvaras carries out classified missions.
[edit] Operational history

Lithuanian Special Operations Force units have participated in a number of missions. From 2002 to 2004 squadrons of the Aitvaras were deployed to the "Enduring Freedom" operation in Afghanistan. Excellent preparedness and execution of tasks by the SOF squadrons have been especially noted by the coalition partners. [5] There squadrons carried out eyes only operations.

From 2005 to 2006, the Lithuanian Special Operations Force was on the operational half-year stand-by period in the NATO Responce Force. Since the autumn of 2007, SOF have taken part in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force mission in southern Afghanistan. [6] In 2008 soldiers of the SOF continued their service in the NATO Response Force.
 ''I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying''
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