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Lithuanian govt greenlights plans to expand Pabrade training area

VILNIUS - The Lithuanian government adopted on Wednesday decisions opening the way for expanding the Pabrade training area to install new firing ranges and ensure better training of military units.   

The Cabinet approved a general development plan for a part of the eastern Svencionys district municipality that allows more than doubling the total area of the Pabrade training grounds to almost 17,514 hectares, from the current 8,486 ha. 

"With the approval of the plan, conditions will be created for installing firing ranges for defense systems newly acquired by the Lithuanian Armed Forces or those used by its allies, (and) for comprehensive training of military units up to a battalion battle group," the Defense Ministry said.  

The ministry said back in November that Germany planned to allocate over a million euros to help equip a multifunctional firing range as part of the Pabrade training area modernization. 

It said the money would be used for purchasing a mobile target lifting system for training tank and armored equipment live fire while in maneuver.

Germany is the lead nation of NATO's multinational battalion deployed to Lithuania in 2017. 

Lithuania plans to expand the Pabrade training area by 2021 for it to be capable of accommodating a brigade-size unit of several thousand troops.

Currently, Lithuanian training areas can accommodate battalion-size units of around 500 troops.

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