Royal Air Force personnel currently serving in Lithuania have joined the Lithuanian President at the Klaipeda Sea Festival on the coast of Lithuania.
The festival is an important annual national event in Lithuania that is both a celebration of maritime culture and a commemoration of those who have been lost at sea. This year the RAF and Spanish Air Force detachment commanders currently conducting the NATO Air Policing mission from Lithuania were invited to join President Gitanas Nauseda for the act of remembrance.
The focus of the commemoration part of the festival was a short ceremony conducted aboard the Lithuanian Naval Ship Kuršis. Led by President Nauseda, the ceremony also included Wing Commander Stu Gwinnutt, the RAF detachment commander, and Lieutenant Colonel Jesus Gutierrez Gallego, the Spanish detachment commander who both laid wreaths on behalf of their respective countries.
“It was a great honour to be invited to join the President’s party aboard LNS Kuršis, especially as she is a former Royal Navy warship. Both the Air Force detachments currently serving in Lithuania with NATO, are from countries with a strong maritime tradition and it was a great experience, not least to meet our colleagues from the Lithuanian Navy.”
Wing Commander Stu Gwinnutt
RAF Detachment Commander
Following the wreath laying ceremony a RAF Typhoon and Spanish Air Force EF-18 carried out a joint flypast in tribute to those lost at sea.