President Dalia Grybauskaitė

NATO exercises reinforce Lithuanian defense


Friday, 2 December, Pabradė – President Dalia Grybauskaitė observed NATO military exercise Iron Sword 2016 at the General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area.

This is one of the largest field training exercises held for the third time in Lithuania, with 4000 troops from 11 NATO allies taking part. It is aimed at achieving interoperability between Lithuanian and allied forces, improving coordination of actions and performing complex defense and logistic operations.

The exercise also served as a preparation to receive the German-led international NATO battalion to be deployed in Lithuania in 2017. During the exercise, German soldiers have tested the Multiple Launch Rocket System MARS II.             

According to the President, the exercises of this size and scale constitute an important part of the Alliance’s deterrence measures.  A very clear message is sent that NATO is united, strong and prepared to defend each of its members.

The President stated that an intensive exercise agenda demonstrated the high level of preparedness of allied forces. This is the second consecutive year that saw a twofold increase in the number of military exercises by the Lithuanian military. As many as 14 military exercises were conducted this year to improve combat skills, interoperability and concerted actions among NATO allies. 

The President underscored that the Lithuanian military had ambitious targets: to bolster readiness for immediate response, to expand the rapid response force, to modernize armaments, and to speed up the formation of military reserve.

This year, the newly established Motorized Infantry Brigade “Žemaitija”, including a battalion of reserve soldiers, participated in the Iron Sword for the first time.

This training exercise is the last one for the second-call conscripts who will join the reserve after completing their military service.

The military exercise Iron Sword 2016 simultaneously ran in two training areas: General Silvestras Žukauskas in Pabradė and Gaižiūnai in Rukla.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2016.12.06 08:27