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Iron Sword 2016
Multinational Exercise Iron Sword 2016 on November 20-December 3 will train roughly 4 thousand soldiers from 11 NATO allies: Canada, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, UK, and the US.
Battalion tactical groups of national and international composition will hone defensive and offensive tactics at the same time training interoperability and concerted actions among NATO allies.
Iron Sword 2016 will evaluate Motorised Infantry Brigade Žemaitija established this year, Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf, and assigned units. Calling in a battalion soldiers from the reserve is also planned.
„There are challenges for the armed forces waiting ahead that we do not know of today. Therefore ability to adapt to a new situation swiftly is vital and troops and headquarters have to be prepared for that. A quick and efficient response to all units in the area to conventional threats is one of the main objectives of the exercise," Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force Brigadier General Valdemaras Rupšys says.
The exercise will run simultaneously in two training areas - of General Silvestras Žukauskas (Švenčionių distr.) and Gaižiūnai (Jonavos distr.).
At the General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area (Švenčionių distr.) the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf will undergo training and evaluation. It will consist of two battalion tactical groups and an assigned artillery battalion. The first battalion tactical group nicknamed Baltija will include soldiers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and the second one called Titanas and formed on the basis of the 2nd Battalion, US 173rd Airborne Assault Brigade will comprise military personel from the United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Poland, Lithuania, Luxembourgh, Slovenia, and Germany. The artillery battalion will include German soldiers with the 131st Artillery Battalion with theirself-propelled howitzers and Lithuanian soldiers.
The Lithuanian contingent exercising in this training area will be formed by troops from the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf, King Mindaugas Hussar, Lithuanian Grand Dukes Algirdas and Kęstutis Mechanised Infantry Battalions, Juozas Vitkus Engineer and the General Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalions, and other combat and support units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
At the Gaižiūnai Training Area (Jonavos ditsr.) the Motorised Infantry Brigade Žemaitija will train and be evaluated. It includes the Lithuanian Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion, a battlion for the first time formed by reserve soldiers for such a large exercise, and support units assigned to it. Lithuanian, US and Romanian soldiers will train together in this training area.
Conscripts of the Continuous Mandatory Initial Military Service serving at the Lithuanian Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion will undergo their final evaluation at Iron Sword 2016.They will join the reserve in late December.
On November 20-26 non-kinetic operations exercise Confidence of the Lithuanian Land Force will be integrated into Iron Sword to enhance civil-military contacts and renew knowledge in national defence. Soldiers will instruct civilians on recognising information threats, present the activities carried by soldiers, exercises, and capabilities of NATO allies training in Lithuania.
On November 24-27 evaluation exercise Strong Shield of the 3rd Territorial Unit of Žemaičių Military District, National Defence Volunteer Force, will run as part of Iron Sword. The evaluation exercise will assess volunteer soldiers' ability to conduct defensive operations.
Exercise Iron Sword 2016 will be declared open on November 20 at the General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area and on November 21 at the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf parade ground in Rukla. Both ceremonies begin at 10.00 a.m.
On December 2 DV and Media Day and exercise closing ceremony will be held at the General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area, the exercise will be closed at the Pabradė Training Area on the same day.
Iron Sword 2016 participants will bring their own tactical vehicles and weaponry. They will move to training areas on November 14-20 via routes: Klaipėda-Vievis-Pabradė, Kalvarija-Kaunas-Vievis-Pabradė, Saločiai-Maišiagala-Pabradė, and Rukla-Vievis-Pabradė. Military materiel and soldiers will be taken to training sites via railway, public roads, seaway (to Klaipėda Seaport) and via Kaunas and Vilnius Airports. The columns will be escorted by military police; exercise command thanks road users in advance for their understanding.