Viewing cable 07VILNIUS449
Title: (C) LITHUANIA MAY PLACE CAVEAT ON FORCES DEPLOYING

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07VILNIUS4492007-06-15 13:51:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 SECRET Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXYZ0013
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVL #0449 1661351
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 151351Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1373
INFO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 0109
RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW IMMEDIATE 3655
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE 1562
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
S E C R E T VILNIUS 000449 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/12/2017 
TAGS: MOPS MARR MCAP AF LH
SUBJECT: (C) LITHUANIA MAY PLACE CAVEAT ON FORCES DEPLOYING 
TO AFGHANISTAN 
 
REF: VILNIUS 393 
 
Classified By: POL/ECON CHIEF REBECCA DUNHAM FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D 
) 
 
¶1. (C) SUMMARY: Lithuania may be forced to place a caveat 
related to Close Air Support on special forces personnel 
scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in July.  Lithuania does 
not have Joint Terminal Air Controllers (JTACs) who are 
certified for NATO air-to-ground operations.  DAO and ODC are 
working through national channels to secure JTAC training for 
the required personnel as soon as possible.  The GOL has now 
identified a longer-term more systemic problem that Lithuania 
does not have a national process for JTAC certification.  End 
summary. 
 
¶2. (C) On June 7 Saulius Gasiunis, Director of the NATO/EU 
Department at the MOD notified the U.S. and British DATTs 
that Lithuania may be forced to place a caveat related to 
Close Air Support on special forces personnel scheduled to 
deploy to Afghanistan in July under the International 
Security Assistance Force - Special Operations Command 
Coordination Element (ISAF-SOCCE) currently commanded by the 
British.  Gasiunis said the reason for the caveat was that 
Lithuania does not have JTACs who are certified for NATO 
air-to-ground operations.  He requested that the UK provide 
JTAC training to Lithuanian special forces as soon as 
possible. 
 
¶3. (C) We had previously informed the GOL of the requirements 
for JTAC certification as defined in the NATO Standardization 
Agreement (STANAG) 3797.  In particular we pointed out that 
certification of JTACs is a national responsibility.  Each 
NATO member country must create its own certification 
process.  Lithuania had never created a certification system 
because of its small size and because it had not previously 
needed to certify any JTAC personnel. 
 
¶4. (S) As reported reftel, Defense Minister Olekas asked for 
help with this problem on May 28, hoping that training 
conducted by the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command 
(AFSOC) in 2004 - 2006 would help the Lithuanians get NATO 
certification.  This training was conducted with the 
understanding that Lithuanian trained personnel would become 
familiar with U.S. JTAC procedures in Afghanistan.  These 
personnel never called for Close Air Support on their own 
during previous deployments; they always had a USAF combat 
controller with them.  This previous training was not meant 
to provide STANAG required qualifications. 
 
¶5. (C) The GOL had also hoped training received by two 
officers at Spangdahlem Airbase in Germany in 2006 and 2007 
would help meet the STANAG requirements.  Unfortunately these 
two officers are conventional land forces officers and they 
do not have the other training necessary to operate in a SOF 
unit. 
 
¶6. (C) To help Lithuania deploy its Special Forces with 
certified JTACs in the shortest possible timeframe, Post is 
seeking immediate training possibilities for SOF officers. 
ODC tested five of the best English-speaking Lithuanian 
Special Forces officers on June 15.  Three of the five passed 
the test and so meet the U.S. qualifications to go to 
Spangdahlem to train.  In addition, they will need to take 
the NATO English test at the Lithuanian Military Academy on 
June 19 in order to meet the STANAG standard.  If at least 
two of them pass both tests, ODC is working with Spangdahlem 
to schedule training as soon as possible.  While the earliest 
possible training date is July 23 - August 10, we understand 
that course is full.  At this stage we have been guaranteed 
two slots for the Lithuanians in the September 4 - 21 course. 
 We have also suggested to the British the possibility of 
having these officers take a similar JTAC course in the UK 
that covers STANAG initial qualification requirements. 
 
¶7. (U) Once the Lithuanian JTACs have met the training 
requirements outlined in STANAG 3797, a general officer from 
the Lithuanian military must write and sign a letter stating 
that these officers are NATO JTAC certified. 
CLOUD