NATO Battalion – Symbol Of Alliance’s Unity And Strength
Tuesday, 20 June, Jonava District – President Dalia Grybauskaitė and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attended Iron Wolf 2017 – the largest military exercise in Lithuania this year – in Stašėnai, Jonava District.
Before the drills, the President of Lithuania and NATO Secretary General had a bilateral meeting and discussed the geopolitical situation, threats to regional security and further measures for countering them.
The military exercise Iron Wolf 2017 tested the readiness of the NATO’s forward presence battalion stationed in Lithuania as well as its capacity to perform tactical tasks and to maneuver in the Suwałki corridor together with Lithuanian and other allied troops.
According to the President, the multinational NATO battalion has become an integral part of Lithuania’s defense. High readiness of battalion troops and their ability to engage in large-scale territorial defense together with Lithuanian and allied military units demonstrate the Alliance’s capability to rapidly assess regional threats and ensure efficient deterrence measures.
NATO’s forward presence battalion in Lithuania is the first multinational battle group in the Baltic states and Poland that is fully formed and has reached a full combat capacity. Presently, it consists of troops from four NATO member countries. Next year, troops from five more member countries will arrive to Lithuania. Troops and military equipment from twenty allied nations will be deployed across the region.
According to the President, the active stance and determination of NATO allies to ensure the security of the Baltic countries demonstrates the Alliance’s unity and strong commitment to collective defense. A very clear message is sent that NATO is indivisible, rapid and the strongest defense alliance in the world. Aggression against a fellow NATO member will be countered by a powerful response from 29 member countries of the Alliance.
As many as 5300 soldiers from 12 NATO member countries took part in the military exercise Iron Wolf 2017. River-crossing of heavy military equipment, stopping the aggressor, regaining territory and counter attacks were drilled. The military exercises were also attended by Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Raimundas Karoblis, Lithuanian and German chiefs of armed forces as well as high-ranking military leadership from other allied countries.
As the new building of NATO headquarters in Brussels is very large, the President made NATO Secretary General a present of a Lithuanian kick-scooter.
[Source: Office of the President of Lithuania -/- Media Relations]
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