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FLAMING THUNDER 2015
Flaming Thunder in an annual exercise organised by the Lithuanian Land Force, Lithuanian Armed Forces, for indirect fire support units. Exercise Flaming Thunder 2015 which will run from April 13 through 24 will involve roughly 450 soldiers from four NATO allies: the United States of America, Poland, Lithuania, and Portugal.
The main goal of the exercise: to train indirect fire support units to provide efficient fire support during offensive operations and to hone interoperability with NATO allies;
- to plan and implement company-level fire support;
- to deliver live fire from prepared positions;
- to conduct live fire from march positions;
- to deliver off-the march fire;
- to deliver preparation fire;
- to deliver barrage fire;
- to deliver control artillery fire;
- neutralise air defence systems of the enemy;
- carry our coastal defence by neutralisation of targets above the sea with ground artillery systems;
The exercise will take place concurrently in two military training areas. Lithuanian and U.S. artillery units will practice coastal defence and neutralise targets over the sea at the Brigadier General Povilas Plechavičius Training Area, while Lithuanian, U.S., Portuguese and Polish mortar platoons will be training rendering indirect fire support at the General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area in Pabradė. On April 15 artillery units will be escorted by the Military Police from Klaipėda District to the General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area to where they will redeploy for the rest of the span of the exercise.
The exercise higher control cell (HICON), the fire support coordination centre, is staffed by all the countries participating in the exercise, its core is formed by military personnel of the Lithuanian Land Force.
The live fire exercise will be attended by (on Lithuanian side) 120mm mortar platoons from the Algirdas and Kęstutis Mechanised Infantry Battalions and the Grand Duchess Birutė Uhlan Battalion, 120mm mortar section from the Lithuanian Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion, a 60mm mortar platoon made up by territorial units of the National Defence Volunteer Force, one 105mm howitzer battery from the General Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion, and NATO allies - the M109A6 Paladin Howitzer Platoon (with an artillery monitoring radar incorporated) of the 1-41 Field Artillery Battalion, the United States Army in Europe, a 120mm mortar platoon from the 15th mechanised Brigade of Poland, a 120mm mortar platoon from the 2-7 Infantry Battalion of the United States, and a 81mm mortar platoon from a reconnaissance company of Portugal.
The conduct of the exercise is also supported by Juozas Vitkus Engineer Battalion, the Lithuanian Navy, the Lithuanian Military Police, and roughly 450 soldiers from other units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
On April 14-17 indirect fire support units will practice planning and conducting live fire tasks, delivering fire from prepared positions, from off-the march positions, delivering barrage fire, neutralising enemy air defence systems and conduct coastal defence by neutralising targets over the sea with ground fire systems.
On April 18-20 the training audience will train according to fire support plans drawn up by infantry company commanders.
On April 21-22 combined fire support of all the ground artillery system fire will be trained, and Distinguished Visitors Day will be held on April 22.