§ Lord Kennet
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What information they have received concerning the joint Lithuanian-US military exercises conducted in Kaunas, paid for by the USA, and whether those exercises are part of the Partnership For Peace or any other related NATO related programmes.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe)
The US has told us that this exercise, "Winter Forest 1996", took place on 12–21 February and was based on a peacekeeping scenario in which a private had disappeared and a search and rescue operation by helicopter was initiated.
Another peacekeeping exercise, "Amber Valley", is planned for 6–22 April. The exercises are part of the US-Lithuanian bilateral co-operation programme and not part of the Partnership For Peace Programme, although they accord with the aims of Partnership For Peace. The USA paid for its own participation, while the Lithuanians provided the facilities.