On 8 June, Field Training Exercise (FTX), Phase II of Exercise Saber Strike 2015, was formally declared open at the Lithuanian Armed Forces' General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area in Pabrade and the parade ground of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion, Lithuania's Ministry of National Defence said.
Vrš. Mads Rolf Ahrenskjaer (Danija) nuot.

The participating soldiers were saluted and the FTX was opened by co-directors of the exercise - Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force Major General Almantas Leika and Deputy Chief of Staff, US Army Europe Major General Mark McQueen. Both Generals underscored in their addresses that the exercise had not only turned into a reoccurring exercise held on an annual basis but was summoning an increasing number of participating forces each time.

"Even though we know each other well and we are frequent participants of training events, only exercises like this can improve our and NATO forces' skills and interoperability," Major General Leika said at the opening event.

Wishing to the participating soldiers a good exercise and to maximise their experience Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Europe Major General Mark McQueen said: "Remember, Soldiers, that this exercise offers an opportunity both to you and your commanders to learn from one another, an opportunity to grow stronger and improve your skills and to test one another."

Soldiers of the Lithuanian Land Force, and Canadian, French, German, Portuguese, Slovenian, and US exercise participants lined up for the opening of Phase II.

The total of 2.800 soldiers and 300 units of military equipment are here in Lithuania for Saber Strike 2015 FTX.

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