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Lithuania President Observes Exercise Saber Strike

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: LTgov}

Thursday, June 18, (Rukla, Jonava District) – President Dalia Grybauskaitė visited the Gaižiūnai training area where she observed NATO’s allied exercise Saber Strike 2015 held to test the readiness of Lithuanian and allied troops to respond to an enemy assault.

Saber Strike is conducted in the three Baltic States and Poland. In Lithuania, it is held for the fifth time as part of the Allied Shield series of exercises in Central and Eastern Europe. This year, Saber Strike is the largest military drill in Lithuania with 3,000 throops from 9 countries taking part. A total of 11,000 personnel from 19 allied nations and 3 partner countries are involved in the exercise across Central and Eastern Europe.

The exercise consists of two phases. Alongside field training, military staff is trained in Nemenčinė to improve command and control on the battlefield as well as interoperability.

Field exercises are taking place in the Gaižiūnai and Pabradė training areas to enhance tactical combat skills. Lithuanian servicemen are learning to use modern sophisticated equipment. The capabilities of rotating forces from the United States, Germany and Portugal include M1 Abrams tanks, infantry fighting vehicles Stryker and Boxer, armored personnel carriers Pandur II and Fuchs, Apache helicopters and A-10 Thunderbolt fighters.

A certification exercise is held in the Adazi Training Area in Latvia for the Baltic Battalion ahead of the standby for the NATO Response Force in 2016. Lithuania’s input to BALTBALT includes a company from the King Mindaugas Hussar Battalion.

At their summit meeting in Wales last September, NATO leaders agreed on immediate security measures for allied partners. This exercise is a fine example of the implementation of the Wales agreements.

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