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Lithuania Hosts Exercise Iron Sword

VILNIUS, Lithuania - Some 4000 personnel from 11 NATO Alliance nations participated in Exercise IRON SWORD, hosted and led by the Lithuania Armed Forces from Nov. 20  to Dec. 3, 2016. 

The exercise this year provided excellent training opportunities in defensive operations, whilst also offering a testing backdrop for the Lithuanian Armed Forces to carry out some home defence and evaluation tasks.  The exercise scenario also ensured that the Lithuanian armed forces were able to conduct and evaluate a wide range of interoperability techniques alongside other NATO contributing nations.  On Dec. 2 during the DV Day a superb dynamic display demonstrated a NATO combined forces operating in built up areas and other all-arms tactics.    

"Exercise IRON SWORD has proven to be an outstanding opportunity to train in a realistic battlespace environment alongside our NATO allies. The energy, the realism, and the sheer magnitude of the training has proven to be unique ,'' said Major Stephen Wyatt Company Commander of the Canadian force. "Our soldiers have been able to add value and indeed each battle group from each nation has brought a differing and very positive capability to the exercise," he added. 

As part of Home Defence and the testing of reserves, Exercise IRON SWORD 16 also allowed the testing and evaluation of Lithuania's newest motorised infantry brigade. The host nation fielded several tactical groups that then operated closely alongside Alliance battle groups as part of the extensive defensive scenario. 

"Exercise Iron Sword 2016 in Lithuania continues to support extensive training using excellent facilities where we can carry out national and multi national operational scenarios. I am very grateful to our allies for such a rewarding exercise," said Brigadier General Valdemaras Rupsys, Lithuanian Land Forces Commander. "Bringing forces together from within the Alliance to train as one, demonstrates that the Alliance and its partners are ready for and capable of dealing with any contingency, across any domain," he added. 

This is the third time Lithuania has hosted Ex IRON SWORD where the training facilities and training areas are perfect for such exercises. With the significant movement of personnel and equipment into and out of the training areas, logistical supply systems and methods were also tested and proven very effective. The exercise has reinforced NATO's collective defence capability and reflected again the professionalism of all contributing forces along with the strong support of the Lithuanian people.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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