November 18, 2015, Lithuanian President, Dalia Grybauskaite, observed NATO’s Iron Sword 2015 exercise at the General Silvestras Zukauskas training area in Pabrade, (Svencionys district).
Held between November 8-20, Iron Sword 2015 involves over 2,000 soldiers, including 800 from 9 NATO countries and Georgia.
All troops use their own equipment. The exercise was initiated in 2014.
In Grybauskaite's words, the importance of the exercise lies in the fact that the Lithuanian Armed Forces are training together with NATO Allies and readying for collective defence under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.
"Our region is currently faced with increasing numbers of unpredictable threats that include elements of hybrid war,” Grybauskaite said in a press release issued by her office. “Therefore, an adequate, fast and well-coordinated NATO response is becoming vital.”
On November 18, a combined counterattack operation was be carried out with Rosomak armored personnel carriers, M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks, and other equipment and weaponry.
Among participants of the Distinguished Visitors and Media Day was be Lithuania's Chief of Defense Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Zukas, commanders of other Lithuanian Armed Forces’ services and foreign guests, Lithuania’s Defence Ministry said.
In November, Lithuania is hosting a total of five national and international exercises to step up the country's capacities to host NATO Response Forces, and coordinate actions with Allies in order to properly respond to the challenges of hybrid war.