Republic of Lithuania
The nation that is today called the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublika) was once a part of the Soviet Union, during which time it was the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1990, the nation became the first Soviet Republic to declare its independence. With approximately 15,000 active duty personnel, the Lithuanian Armed Forces (Lietuvos ginkluotosios pajėgos) encompass the Ground Forces, Air Force, Navy and Special Operations Forces. Under the Ministry of the Interior are the Border Guards and other internal security forces. Lithuania is a member of NATO, and has been a participant in several recent peacekeeping efforts in Afghanistan (as part of ISAF), Iraq, Kosovo, and Bosnia.
Lithuanian Camouflage Patterns
The earliest post-Soviet camouflage pattern adopted by Lithuania is a three-colour amoeba design incorporating green, dark and medium brown shapes on light-colored background. This pattern was worn between 1991-1998, but discarded in favour of a woodland variant - probably due to the association with the Soviet Union of this design.
A variation of the old tricolor amoeba pattern would later be adopted by the Border Guards of the Interior Ministry, incorporating black, brown and green shapes on a grey background.
The current Lithuanian M05 misko (forest) four colour pattern was first adopted in 2002, and has since become the standard operational uniform for the Ground Forces. Several color and fabric variations have been documented, and the pattern itself has experienced mild alterations as well. A hidden feature within the design itself is the "double-cross" (Cross of Lorraine) motif embedded into the motif. The cross has been part of the Lithuanian coat-of-arms since the country became independent from the USSR, but the image itself can be traced back to the fourteenth century.
A Lithuanian M05 four colour desert pattern was also adopted in 2003. The shapes of the desert version is enlarged compared to the standard M05, and the colors have changed slightly with different production runs. The Cross of Lorraine motif is still present and considerably larger on the desert pattern.
At least one company of the Lithuanian Army is devoted to the role of OPFOR (opposing forces; playing the role of enemy troops in combat maneuvers). A variation of the M05 four-color design is worn by OPFOR troops, having a grey-brown colorway and unit-specific insignia. The uniforms are purpose-manufactured for the Lithuanian OPFOR; they are not overdyed uniforms.
The Lietuvos Viešojo Saugumo Tarnyba (VST) or Lithuanian Public Security Service adopted a type of pixelated camouflage design in 2010. The design features very large pixel shapes in black, dark olive green and light tan on a coyote brown background. Within the pattern the POLYGON trademark has been embedded, suggesting this was developed as a commercial product. Original uniforms in this pattern are made in Lithuania, but there are models made in Russia that were not worn by the VST.
Circa 2011, a new camouflage design was introduced and gradually been adopted by the Lithuanian special operations community. A variegated pattern of dark brown, dark olive green, khaki and ochre colors on a pale olive green background, the design initially appeared in various Lithuanian sources only among the Lithuanian Special Operations Forces (LITHSOF) or Lietuvos Specialiųjų Operacijų Pajėgos. However, in 2014 the Ministry of Defense announced that the entire Lithuanian Army would begin transitioning to this pattern starting in the second quarter of 2018.
Photographs of Lithuanian Soldiers
Lithuanian soldiers wearing the M05 four colour pattern 2006
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