Sgt. Zane Craig
Lithuania’s vice minister of defense and other senior officials visited the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site (EAATS) here Dec. 5.
The delegation toured the Black Hawk Aircrew Trainer (BAT) simulation system, the Non-Rated Crewmember Manned Module (NCM3), and the Aviation Maintenance Instructional Building (AMIB).
The Lithuanian Armed Forces have begun the process of increasing their rotary wing aircraft capabilities. As the Pennsylvania National Guard’s partner in the State Partnership Program, the Lithuanian delegation came to the EAATS to learn more about the Pennsylvania National Guard’s rotary wing capabilities, extensive training possibilities, and expertise with the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in particular.
In addition to Vytautas Umbrasas, the vice minister of defense, the Lithuanian delegation included Saulius Gasiunas, the director of the Department of Transatlantic Cooperation, Col. Alvydas Siuparis, the embassy defense attache, and Lt. Col. Grazvydas Liubinas, deputy defense attache.
After touring the EAATS facilities, the delegation boarded a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter for an aerial tour of Fort Indiantown Gap and demonstration of the Black Hawk’s capabilities in flight.
The Pennsylvania National Guard State Partnership Program with the Lithuanian Armed Forces began April 27, 1993, as Lithuania regained its independence from the Soviet Union. The training at the EAATS consists of more than 28 formal courses providing technical and functional training to over 1,500 Soldiers annually from all 54 states and territories, the active Army, Army Reserves and various international military students.