- Motorised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf
Motorised Infantry Brigade "Iron Wolf"
Motorizuotoji pėstininkų brigada "Geležinis Vilkas"
Insignia of MIB "Iron Wolf"
Active 1992 - present Country Lithuania Branch Army Type Brigade Role Motorised infantry Size 6 battalions Part of Lithuanian Land Forces Garrison/HQ Rukla (Jonava district) Anniversaries 6 June 1992 Equipment Lithuanian army equipment Website Official site Commanders Current
Colonel Vilmantas Tamošaitis Chief of Staff Colonel Alvydas Šiuparis Command Sergeant Major Chief Warrant Officer Osvaldas Žurauskas Insignia Symbol of MIB "Iron Wolf" Flag of MIB "Iron Wolf"
Motorised Infantry Brigade "Iron Wolf" (MIB "Iron Wolf") (Lithuanian: motorizuotoji pėstininkų brigada "Geležinis vilkas") is the core unit of the Lithuanian Army and forms the country's contribution to NATO collective defence. The MIB "Iron Wolf" exemplifies Lithuania's commitment to build modern, professional and mobile military units capable of carrying out missions at home or abroad.
According to legend, Gran Duke of Lithuania Gediminas (ca. 1275 – 1341) dreamt of an iron wolf howling like a thousand wolves on a hilltop and consulted a pagan priest Lizdeika for its interpretation. He was told: "What is destined for the ruler and the State of Lithuania, is thus: the Iron Wolf represents a castle and a city which will be established by you on this site. This city will be the capital of the Lithuanian lands and the dwelling of their rulers, and the glory of their deeds shall echo throughout the world". This city is "eternal capital" of Lithuania Vilnius. Iron Wolf is popular name for various organizations, this name wear football (soccer), rugby, basketball and other sport clubs, subdivision of lithuanian scouts etc. This name represents Lithuanian defense readiness, fighting spirit and heroic inspiration.
MIB "Iron Wolf" main mission is to maintain required capabilities as stated in national defense guide in order to defend Republic of Lithuania sovereignty, its territorial integrity, participate in NATO and international peace support operations, plan and conduct brigade staff and units training, main effort preparation for peace support operations in accordance with international commitments.
- Plan and conduct the tasks related to military operations;
- Prepare training and activity plans of MIB "Iron Wolf";
- Organize, conduct, evaluate and analyze training of subunits in order to achieve specify tasks and essential tasks of the mission;
- Control readiness of subunits of MIB "Iron Wolf" to conduct stated missions and essential tasks of the mission;
- Coordinate main spheres of activity with the commander of MIB "Iron Wolf";
- Take part in national and international military operations, exercises and projects of the military cooperation;
- Collect information on experience gathered during exercises and make suggestions to Brigade commander;
- Provide information and reports to the higher headquarters concerning implementation of training and activity plans;
- Provide assistance to state and municipal institutions by responding to threats of a non-military nature;
- Maintain close relationship with local society and participate in their activities.
MIB "Iron Wolf" - the biggest unit of land forces of Lithuania Armed Forces, consists of the command, its elements and six battalions stationed across Lithuania and named after Lithuanian Great Dukes as the tradition of the Lithuanian Armed Forces goes:
- The King Mindaugas Mechanised Infantry Battalion (Lithuanian: Karaliaus Mindaugo mechanizuotasis pėstininkų batalionas), stationed in Panevėžys;
- The Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion (Lithuanian: Lietuvos didžiojo kunigaikščio Algirdo mechanizuotasis pėstininkų batalionas), stationed in Rukla;
- The Grand Duchess Birutė Motorised Infantry Battalion (Lithuanian: Didžiosios kunigaikštienės Birutės motorizuotasis pėstininkų batalionas), stationed in Alytus;
- The Grand Duke Kęstutis Motorised Infantry Battalion (Lithuanian: Lietuvos didžiojo kunigaikščio Kęstučio motorizuotasis pėstininkų batalionas), stationed in Tauragė;
- The General Romualdas Giedraitis artillery battalion (Lithuanian: Generolo Romualdo Giedraičio artilerijos batalionas), stationed in Rukla;
- The Lithuanian Duke Vaidotas Forward Support Battalion (Lithuanian: Kunigaikščio Vaidoto tiesioginės paramos logistikos batalionas), stationed in Rukla.
The unit originated in June, 1990, when a separate Defence Squad was created. Same year, in autumn, the Honors Guards Company was created.
- January 13, 1991 - both the Defence Squad and the Honors Guard Company defend the Lithuania's Parliament building, the Hall of Press, the Ministers' Council building, the Vilnius TV tower, and other buildings during the USSR's armed forces assault on the newly-independent Lithuania;
- February 22, 1991 - a Training Regiment (Lithuanian: Mokomasis junginys) is created;
- November 14, 1991 - Training Regiment reorganized as Rapid Reaction Mechanized Infantry Brigade (Lithuanian: Greitojo reagavimo motodesantinė brigada). Brigade's subunits, stationed in various parts of Lithuania, are considered equal to battalions;
- Spring, 1992 - First draftees are assigned to the newly-formed Brigade, with battalions stationed Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Tauragė, and two companies are stationed in Alytus and Marijampolė (the two latter later growing into full battalions);
- January 2, 1992 - Renamed as Field Infantry 1st Mechanized Brigade (Lithuanian: Lauko kariuomenės 1-oji motodesantinė brigada);
- June 6, 1992 - Unit's first parade on Cathedral Square in Vilnius; Brigade is awarded the name "Iron Wolf" (Lithuanian: "Geležinis Vilkas");
- April 1, 1995 - Klaipėda's battalion is reassigned under the Navy command; Kaunas's battalion reassigned under the Army HQ's command;
- January 26, 1996 - Field Infantry Brigade reorganized as "Iron Wolf" Mechanized Infantry Brigade (Lithuanian: Motorizuotoji pėstininkų brigada "Geležinis Vilkas");
- October 27, 1996 - Brigade's battalions in Šiauliai (the "Grand Duke Vaidotas" battalion) and Tauragė (the "Grand Duke Kęstutis" battalion) are reassigned as separate units;
- In 2004 - the bilateral project between Denmark and Lithuania LITBRIG has started;
- August 31, 2006 - in Denmark, Haderslev, a contemporary Chief of Defense of Lithuania Maj. Gen. Valdas Tutkus and Chief of Defense of Denmark Gen. Hans Jasper Helso have signed the Memorandum of MIB "Iron Wolf" affiliation with Danish Division.
- Col. Česlovas Jezerskas (February 22, 1991 - January 27, 1995);
- Col. Jonas Vytautas Žukas (January 27, 1995 - August 21, 2001);
- Col. Vitalijus Vaikšnoras (August 21, 2001 - October 1, 2003);
- Col. Gediminas Jurgutis (October 1, 2003 - May 19, 2005);
- Col. Darius Užkuraitis (May 19, 2005 - June 27, 2008);
- Col. Vilmantas Tamošaitis (June 27, 2008 - present).
The soldiers of the brigade participate in exercises of various levels as in Lithuania as in abroad as well. In addition, they are conducting peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan and stand by period in NATO Response Force and Battlegroup of the European Union. The Brigade constantly takes part in joint projects, international operations, and wargames together with other countries' military units. Among those are the British Armed Forces, the Army of Denmark, the Army of the Czech Republic, the United States Military, Poland and Germany.
International Joint Projects
- ARTBALT, a joint project with Denmark to create an artillery battalion in Lithuania
- BALTBAT, a multinational project aimed to create and train a joint infantry battalion between Lithuania's, Latvia's, and Estonia's militaries. The project is executed in cooperation with several Scandinavian nations, Great Britain, and the USA.
- LITPOLBAT, a project to create a joint battalion with Poland's military.
- LITBAT, a project aimed to reorganized the Grand Duke Algirdas Battalion into a mechanized infantry battalion, capable of operating together with NATO forces. Executed with the help of Denmark's military instructors.
- Grunwald Wind, a biannual military practice in Poland. The Brigade's HQ and the Duchess Birtutė Battalion take part in those.
- The biannual Amber Hope military practice, together with other BALTBAT members.
- The NATO military practice Strong Resolve 2001 and Strong Resolve 2002 in Poland.
- The Cooperative Lantern 2002 military practice in the Netherlands, attended by soldiers from the Brigade HQ and the King Mindaugas Battalion.
International Peacekeeping Missions
The name of the brigade relates to the foundation legend of the city of Vilnius. According to it, Gediminas, the grand duke of Lithuania, had a prophetic dream that involved an iron wolf howling on a hill where the city was later built. The battalions are named after the former rulers of Lithuania.
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