On 4 November active phase of the multinational military exercise Iron Sword 2014 began at the Gaižiūnų Training Range and the General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Range. The Training Audience from 9 NATO member states began training offensive and defensive operations in two major training areas of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, the Ministry of National Defence informs.
© A.Pliadžio nuotr.

Active phase of Iron Sword 2014 is a two-week long Field Tactical Exercise (FTX). The Training Audience will hone interoperability of combined NATO units, co-ordination of actions, and complete defensive, offensive, relief-in-place and stabilisation operations. In the first week of the FTX the participants will be completing offensive and defensive operations with heavy combat equipment in two training ranges. In the second week the training units will move to the General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Range for conducting tactical tasks according to the exercise scenario.

Exercise Iron Sword 2014 involves roughly 2,500 participants from 9 NATO member states; the Czech Republic, Estonia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary and Germany.

Over 300 combat vehicles have been assembled at both training ranges, including the BRADLEY tracked infantry fighting vehicles, the BPZ heavy tracked armoured recovery vehicles, the M113 armoured tracked personnel carriers, the STRYKER, the FUCHS, the BTR-80 and theBTR-80 AM wheeled armoured personnel carriers, the HMMWV, the DINGO, the FENNEK and the EAGLE IV light armoured military all-terrain vehicles, the SISU multipurpose trucks, various other military trucks and four-wheelers.

Over 1,900 participants from the Lithuanian Grand Duchess Birutė Uhlan, King Mindaugas Hussar, Lithuanian Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon, Juozas Vitkus Engineer, Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas and the Lithuanian Grand Duke Kęstutis Mechanised Infantry Battalions, the 5th and the 8th Territorial Units of the Didžioji Kova Military District of the Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Force, and other assigned units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces train at the FTX at the Gaižiūnų Training Range and the General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Range.

Exercise Iron Sword 2014 is arranged by the command of the Lithuanian Land Force, the service responsible for arranging the Host Nation Support for the exercise participants from NATO countries. Iron Sword is planned to become an annual exercise.

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