"I continue to be thankful for the relationship we have, and the strings of our commitment to each other, especially in more dangerous times, which I think many of us hoped we never have to see your experience again, but it's only when you are in difficult times friendship means more," Shimkus said at a news conference at the Lithuanian parliament.
He also applauded the Lithuanian achievements over the 25 years of independence, saying he visited the liquefied natural gas terminal and US troops in Rukla during his visit.
"For the first time you have permanent rotation, US troops on the ground, and i think it's exciting. It is not exciting only for Lithuania, I think it's very exciting for our troops who get the experience, which is friendship, the hospitality and the importance of selfless service in putting yourself in areas that help strengthen democracy and freedom," Shimkus said.
Soldiers of the US land forces have been rotated in the Baltic states and Poland since the spring of 2014 in response to the Russian actions in Ukraine. Furthermore, the alliance has stepped up the protection of the Baltic skies and seas in the wake of the changed regional geopolitical situation.