In recent months, the corona pandemic has also affected the deployment of the German Armed Forces in Lithuania.
For the Pfreimder (Pfreimd is a town in the district of Schwandorf, in Bavaria, Germany.) things are supposed to get better again in the Baltic States. They have done quite a bit for that.
The Panzer Battalion 104 from Pfreimd has taken the lead over the NATO task force in Rukla, Lithuania, for the second time. The commander of the Lithuanian “Iron Wolf” brigade, Colonel Mindaugas Petkevicius, transferred the command from Lieutenant Colonel Axel Niemann from Marienberg (Saxony) to Lieutenant Colonel Peer Papenbroock, the commander of the Pfreimder.
Among others, the Lithuanian Minister of Defence Raimundas Karoblis attended the military roll call on Tuesday afternoon in the barracks in Rukla. Due to the Corona pandemic, there was no delegation from Germany this time. The military delegations had come by a wide margin to protect against corona. Visitors were only allowed to enter the area wearing masks. The Pfreimder replaced the Panzergrenadierbataillon 371 from Marienberg. Their deployment was overshadowed by the Corona pandemic. The Panzer Battalion 104 is building on the fact that, unlike its predecessors, it will be able to conduct a major exercise again. The Marienberg exercise was cancelled due to Corona. Just like the Pfreimder, the soldiers of the other nations had been in quarantine to prevent the virus from being introduced.
The NATO Battlegroup shows the solidarity, determination and ability of the alliance to protect the population and territory of NATO from possible aggression.Lt. Col. Peer Papenbroock, Commander Tank Battalion 104
Only one year ago the Pfreimder returned to the Oberpfalz-Kaserne after a six month mission in Lithuania. This time the approximately 200 soldiers will stay in the Baltic States until after Christmas. This is the last mission in Lithuania for the Oberpfalzers, after the Oberviechtacher Panzergrenadiere will provide the first Bundeswehr unit in 2017. The Pfreimder will also take home all the equipment of the 10th Panzer Division. The 1st Armoured Division, which will take over the mission in Lithuania from 2021, will bring their own to the Baltic States.
Altogether about 500 soldiers of the Panzer Brigade 12 “Oberpfalz” are in Lithuania, besides Pfreimd among others from Oberviechtach, Bogen and Roding. Other parts of the 1200 strong NATO task force come from France, the Netherlands, Norway, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Iceland and Luxembourg.