Allies exercise in SABRE STRIKE, THUNDER STORM
U.S. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 109th Infantry Regiment, Pennsylvania National Guard, conduct a ruck march during Saber Strike 18 at the Pabrade Training Area, Lithuania, June 6, 2018. Saber Strike is a multinational exercise currently in its eighth year that tests participants from 19 countries on their ability to work together and improve each unit's ability to perform their designated missions. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew McNeil / 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
Pabrade Training Area, Lithuania -- Exercise SABRE STRIKE, a US-led exercise, where NATO nations
have combined with US Forces in large-scale reinforcement is drawing to a close.
The German-led battlegroup has also participated in Exercise THUNDER STORM, the
Lithuanian Home-Defence exercise with approximately 3,000 personnel.
Exercise THUNDER STORM is an annual defence exercise which
practises alert, mobilisation and deployment to defensive positions. NATO enhanced
Forward Presence nations have supported both exercises with the Iron Wolf Brigade
providing the main forces for THUNDER STORM.
"Extensive Planning has taken place for some
time, in order to prepare and provide valuable training on this joint field
exercise where we have practiced all forms of defensive and offensive action"
said Colonel Mindaugas Steponavicius Lithuanian Army 'Iron Wolf' Brigade
"We are well trained and ready to defend
ourselves. This is vital for effective deterrence and I am very confident in
our collective capabilities."
Although an annual Lithuanian Defence exercise,
this year's interaction with HQ Multi-National Corps North East has provided
demanding training opportunities for both the headquarters and the eFP BG.
Battle Group Lithuania is made up of 8 nations from Belgium, Croatia, France,
Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, Netherlands and Norway. France's 40 Artillery Regiment provided air defense
for the eFP BG formation.
"This is a great opportunity for my personnel to
take part in a NATO exercise where we have trained and operated with many
different nations" said Lieutenant Martial, a troop commander with the field
artillery battery. "We have been able to test our own procedures and also have
sight of other national capabilities. I am very pleased with our level of
standardisation and interoperability"
Although 40 Artillery Regiment will return to
Suippes, France, the French contribution to the German-led BG consists of a
combined arms battle group of field artillery, armour and infantry and will
rotate early in the beginning of the summer.