In times of emergency
The Lithuanian Armed Forces are reliable in times of all kinds of disaster. When a real danger arises to people or nature, troops, which react fast and are well trained and equipped with modern technology, can save many lives.
Troops remove explosives which are still found in considerable numbers when roads or buildings are built, and which also rise to the surface of the sea. Every year bomb disposal squads defuse an average of 2,000 mines and aviation bombs. The Armed Forces also help in searching for missing people. Air Force helicopter crews provide emergency support by transporting patients and donor organs.
Troops also assist in extinguishing fires. In 2006, military from different units and Air Force pilots with helicopters took part in putting out the raging fire, which was called the "fire of the century", in the forests of the Curonian Spit. Assistance is required almost every year by the people in the Nemunas Delta, when floods cut their farms off from the rest of the world.
Hence, it is not surprising that people's trust in the Armed Forces has doubled since their restoration, and the defence establishment is held in extremely high esteem by civilians.
The military and the public
The best way to understand how other people lives is to experience it yourself. One of the greatest priorities of the Lithuanian Armed Forces is attention and openness to all members of society. Anyone interested in military life can find ways to try it.
In the last month of summer traditional four-day marches in the Training Regiment are organised. Hundreds of volunteers of any age come to try what soldiers' life is by walking together all day and spending nights in barracks.
Every year more and more foreigners take part in the marches.
In summer thousands of schoolchildren spend part of their holidays in camps organised by the military and municipal authorities. Children can not only see, but also try military discipline.
The military cooperates with many various NGOs and the Riflemen's Union, a voluntary civil defence organisation which focuses on national and cultural values, education, physical training and sports.
Since the interwar period the Lithuanian Armed Forces have been celebrating the Day of Unity of the Military and Society. Everybody interested can talk with soldiers, share their concerns, learn the latest news or try military equipment and armaments. Usually, on that day all units and detachments have an Open Doors Day.
The Lithuanian Armed Forces never make secrets where they do not exist, but know how to keep them if necessary.