As of 2023, Norway has depolyed 150 soldiers to Lithuania, as part of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltics and Poland.
During the NATO 2016 Warsaw Summit, the Alliance decided to strengthen its military presence in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. This forward presence is a defensive and reassuring measure that emphasises the Alliance's will for collective defence.
The Enhanced Forward Presence, EFP, consists of four rotational, multinational battalion-size battle groups based in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland. The Norwegian contribution is part of a German-led multinational battalion.
As of Summer 2023, Norway contributes with a mechanised infantry company of about 150 soldiers from the Norwegian Army’s Brigade Nord. The Norwegian force contribution in Lithuania will continue throughout 2024. In August 2023, a new Norwegian contingent will arrive in Lithaunia. This will be the 14th since our first contingent was deployed in 2017.
The Norwegian Force is based at a Lithuanian garrison in the town of Rukla, about 90 km outside the capital Vilnius. The Norwegians train and exercise together with soldiers from Belgium, Czechia, Germany, the Netherlands, and the host country Lithuania.
Norway has contributed with soldiers in the Enhanced Forward Presence since spring 2017. In April 2017, a small forward team of Norwegian military personnel was sent to Rukla to make sure that everything was ready when the Norwegian main forces arrived in the garrison in late May.
From May until December 2017, the Norwegian contribution consisted of 200 men and women from the Army. The majority of the soldiers belonged to the Telemark Battalion. They were, however, supported by soldiers from the whole Brigade North, which included fire control, military police, communications support, logistics and engineers. The Norwegian forces brought with them main battle tanks, CV90 infantry fighting vehicles, combat engineering vehicles (STING), armored engineering vehicles, bridge layers, armored recovery vehicles, fire control vehicles, tracked vehicles, excavators and command and control vehicles.
From January 2018 the Norwegian contribution consisted of about 30 soldiers from a reconnaissance unit from the Norwegian Army. The Norwegian force contributed with collecting information for NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltic States and Poland. The information helped creating a situational picture and situational awareness so that the decision-making basis for the commanders was as good as possible.
From the end of July 2018 to July 2019 Norway contributed with 10–13 soldiers who mainly came from the Army's Artillery Battalion. Their main task was to provide combat and decision support to the operation.
From July 2019 to January 2020, Norway contributed with a mechanised company battlegroup consisting of around 120 soldiers from the Armoured Battalion. From 2020 to winter 2021, Norway had around 120 soldiers from the Telemark Battalion deployed to the operation.
In 2021, the Armoured Battalion returned to the operation with a force of around 140 soldiers.
Following the Russian attack on Ukraine in February 2022, the original infantry company was immediately enhanced by an extra mechanised infantry troop.