This elite SpecOps soldier from the Vytautas the Great Jaeger Battalion is wearing Lithuanian M05 Miško, or Forest, pattern camouflage uniform, writes Bob Morrison.
In a recent feature in our Military Land Rovers series, where I took a look at the LITHSOF (LIThuanian Special Operations Forces) Defender 110 WMIK gunship, I promised to follow up with a Kit & Camo uniform article. So here goes.
Created in 2003, but not introduced until two years later, M05 Miško (Forest) pattern appears to be four-colour but closer inspection reveals only three distinct shades of russet brown, verdant green and black are used. The fourth colour is actually caused by deliberate misalignment of the printed blocks to allow the light coloured base material to edge the shapes and provide an illusion of depth. This is the same effect as found on Belgian M1999 Jigsaw camo though the actual design of Lithuanian M05 is possibly better described as being a hybrid Jigsaw / Leaf pattern.
The Jaeger pictured above was serving with the Vytautas the Great Jaeger Battalion, Vytauto Didžiojo Jėgerių Batalionas, which is one of three primary Land components of Lithuanian Special Operations Forces (LITHSOF) and forms the bulk of their operational assets; the other two components being a Special Purpose Service (i.e. Special Projects) and a Combat Diver Service (i.e. SBS equivalent). During the opening Special Operations phase of Ex. NOBLE JUMP 15 in Poland, LITHSOF worked in close cooperation with Poland’s PARASOL Special Forces and the Dutch Korps Commandotroepen to apprehend high value targets and neutralise insurgent and militia command centres.
The tactical patch worn by the Jaeger on his left arm is the low visibility version of the VGJB insignia which incorporates the shield of Vytautas the Great with a capital V plus a crossed sabre and spearhead and initial JB (for Jėgerių Batalionas) beneath. He is armed with the 5.56mm Heckler & Koch G36C sub-carbine with EOTech sight plus a laser module and his secondary weapon is the 9mm Glock 17 pistol. The ‘smiley’ patches on right arm and helmet rear are for identification.
The vehicle behind this Jaeger is a three-man LITHSOF Defender 110 WMIK Land Rover armed with a 7.62mm FN MAG general purpose machine gun, on the dashboard in front of the commander, and ring mount Heckler & Koch 40mm Grenade Machine Gun. The unit also used the Arctic Cat WILDCAT 1000i GT 2/4×4 UTV (quad) and off-road motorcycles during the dynamic display on the Żagań Training Area at Świętoszów.
If all goes to plan, this will be the first of a series of three articles on Lithuanian M05 camo. Part 2 will go into the pattern in a little more detail and will feature conventional troops wearing this uniform on exercises in Germany, and Estonia as well as in Lithuania. Part 3 will look at a Lithuanian OpFor soldier wearing a ‘Men In Blue’ version.
[ Images © Bob Morrison unless noted ]