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    Saber Strike 2015 begins in Lithuania

    Lithuanian Army Infantry ‘Griffin’ Brigade controls the fight at Allied Spirit VII

    Photo By Staff Sgt. David Overson | Lithuanian Army Lt. Col. Viktoras Bagdonas, chief of staff for the Lithuanian Army...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. James Avery 

    16th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    PABRADE, Lithuania – Saber Strike 2015 began today with opening ceremonies involving 13 NATO nations here at the General Silvestras Zlikaliskas Training Area in Pabrade, Lithuania.

    Following the raising of the host nation’s flag, Lithuania, the Saber Strike flag was raised with fanfare from the Lithuanian Land Forces band and the official opening of the exercise by Maj. Gen. Almantas Leika, Lithuanian Land Forces commander, who also wears the hat of co-director for Saber Strike 2015.

    The 8th Marines are among those representing the United States in Saber Strike 2015, a long-standing U.S. Army Europe-led cooperative training exercise. This year’s exercise objectives facilitate cooperation amongst the U.S., Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to improve joint operational capability in a range of missions as well as preparing the participating nations and units to support multinational contingency operations. There are more than 6,000 participants from 13 different nations.

    “This is the largest exercise in Lithuania in the last decade,” said Leika. “The aim of this exercise is to train together and ensure that we achieve interoperability in conducting military operations.”

    Leika went on to say that beyond these goals, Lithuania and her allies would continue to build and develop trust and confidence among commanders, Soldiers and units.

    Deputy Commanding General (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), U.S. Army Europe, Maj. Gen. Mark T. McQueen also spoke during the ceremony, and highlighted the partnership between the nations, as well as a high level of leadership from partnering nations.

    “This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase the incredible talent that is imbedded in the formation that stands before us this day,” McQueen said. “This gives us an opportunity to train hard, to hone our skills, and to strengthen leadership within our formations.”

    The Saber Strike exercise program is an ongoing USAREUR-led cooperative training effort focused on Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. This year includes participation from U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), U.S. Navy forces in Europe (NAVEUR), U.S. Marine Forces Europe and Africa (MARFOREUR/AF), the U.S. Army and Air National Guard, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, and United Kingdom. The exercise trains participants on command and control as well as interoperability with regional partners. All activities will feature joint, multinational training among the participating nations.



    Date Taken: 06.08.2015
    Date Posted: 06.08.2015 13:47
    Story ID: 165862
    Location: PABRADE, LT 

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