Rukla, Lithuania, 7 June 2017

A hundred soldiers are waiting on the large parade ground in Rukla. Heavy rain is falling from the sky as the Lithuanian brigade commander gives the farewell speech. The Belgian soldiers of the Combat Service Support Company lined up with mixed feelings.

(© Bundeswehr)
They are part of the service company of enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania. While they are happy that they will return home soon, they also feel sadness. Lithuania has become a second home for them over the last few months. The Battlegroup Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Christoph Huber, awards the Belgian and Dutch servicemen and -women with the German marksmanship lanyard. Then the Belgian soldiers receive the meritorious service medal of the Lithuanian armed forces from Colonel Stepanovicius, a special moment for the servicemen and -women. Even though the Belgian soldiers go back to their country now, things will move forward. Their successors have already arrived.

This is the translation of an article by Heiner Bumüller published on

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