Reinforcing enhanced Forward Presence: CBRN defence forces headed for Lithuania

Bruchsal, 14 March 2017
As of 28 March, part of a company of 750 CBRN defence batallion from Bruchsal will support enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Lithuania. Different support elements such as CBRN defence units or artillery will reinforce NATO’s battlegroup on the ground as required, e.g. for exercises. A total of 400 additional German soldiers will be sent to Lithuania.

  CBRN Bild 1 Bild vergrößern A CBRN defence soldier decontaminating a vehicle. (© Bundeswehr/Bier)

Captain Alexander Groiß is in charge of the 3rd company of 750 CBRN defence batallion. In Lithuania he will command a CBRN defence unit comprising 66 soldiers. “We have two mixed platoons with reconnaissance and decontamination experts as well as personnel for water purification and the maintenance of CBRN-specific equipment,” he says.

Not just going there for practice

Apart from joint exercises with German, Dutch and Norwegian battlegroup soldiers as well as Lithuanian armed forces, the CBRN specialists also have to carry out a real job, namely animal disease containment, as African swine fever has also been detected in Lithuania.

“We will make sure that the virus is not accidentally carried to Germany,” Groiß explains. Equipment, vehicles, personnel and personal gear need to be presented to the decontamination squad before they can be brought back to Germany. ABC image 2 Bild vergrößern A Fuchs armoured CBRN reconnaissance vehicle taking soil samples (archive image). (© Bundeswehr/Dittrich)

A lot of equipment

Groiß and his soldiers will spend about three months in Lithuania. “We will bring thirty vehicles to Lithuania by train,” the company commander says. This includes two Fuchs armoured CBRN reconnaissance vehicles and four TEP 90 decontamination vehicles. “We must be ready for deployment from 3 April,” Groiß says.

Prepared for military engagement

Though focusing on animal disease control and exercises, the CBRN defence soldiers always keep in mind that military engagement might become necessary. “We will also support enhanced Forward Presence with expert CBRN defence forces if developments escalate toward crisis,” the company commander stresses. His unit will assist enhanced Forward Presence in Lithuania until the end of 2017.

This is a tranlation of an article by Alexandra Möckel published on