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Prime Minister begins her visit to US by meeting with Governor of Pennsylvania and Adjutant General of Pennsylvania

Date

2022 12 06

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Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė, who is beginning her working visit to the United States of America, met with Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf and Adjutant General of the Pennsylvania National Guard Major General Mark J. Schindler on Monday.

“Today, the partnership with the United States of America has become one of the main security guarantors in the Baltic region, and for the last three decades the Pennsylvania National Guard has significantly contributed to the strengthening of our country's defence capabilities through its cooperation with the Lithuanian Armed Forces, thus I am pleased to personally thank both the Adjutant General as well as the Governor for their contribution in strengthening these relations with Lithuania,” Prime Minister Šimonytė said during the meeting with the governor.

At the meeting with Governor Wolf, Prime Minister Šimonytė discussed cooperation in the fields of security, economy and energy, cyber security, academia, research, and other areas.

The development of cooperation with Pennsylvania is reflected by such initiatives as the North American Lithuanian Business Forum held in Philadelphia this year and the memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Agriculture of Lithuania and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture signed in July.

Prime Minister stressed that Pennsylvania and Lithuania have a long-standing connection–the state was once a welcoming asylum for grandparents and great-grandparents of the large Lithuanian community that lives here to this day.

After visiting the Pennsylvania National Guard headquarters and training facility at Fort Indiantown Gap, Prime Minister met with adjutant general Maj. Gen. Schindler. The meeting discussed the successful long-standing partnership between Lithuania and PANG, whose 30th anniversary will be marked in 2023.

Prime Minister underlined that Lithuania highly appreciates the presence of US troops in the region thus enhancing its security, which is especially important at this time, when Russia continues waging its brutal war in Ukraine and terrorizing its civilians. At the same time, Lithuania is investing in improving the host country's infrastructure and its own defence capabilities.

The parties discussed partnership and PANG's contribution to the improvement of Lithuania's military capabilities by training specialists, participating in joint trainings and exercises, and cooperating in the field of cyber security.

“I hope that next year, as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the partnership between Lithuania and the Pennsylvania National Guard, we will continue and expand this active and mutually beneficial cooperation,” said Ms Šimonytė.

Since 1993, the Armed Forces of Lithuania and PANG have not only developed cooperation in various fields, but also participated together in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2012.

In the near future, Lithuanian pilots and mechanics will train at the PANG Air Force Pilots and Maintenance Specialists Training Centre on how to operate and maintain the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters that Lithuania is purchasing, while cooperation between PANG and Lithuania is also taking place in the areas of improving military infrastructure and training special operations forces in Lithuania.