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    Exercise Iron Sword ends in Lithuania

    Exercise Iron Sword ends in Lithuania

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Michael Behlin | M1A2 Main Battle Tanks belonging to the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Armor...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin 

    10th Press Camp Headquarters

    PABRADE, Lithuania - Exercise Iron Sword, Lithuania's largest national defense field exercise of 2015, officially came to an end during a ceremony Nov. 20 at General Silvestras Zukauskas training area in Pabrade, Lithuania.

    Iron Sword, which took place November 8-20, trained more than 2,000 NATO Soldiers and allowed them the opportunity to exchange experience while completing large-scale military operations.

    Participating in Iron Sword for 2015 were Soldiers from Canada, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, United Kingdom and United States.

    Dalia Grybauskaite, the President of the Republic of Lithuania, viewed the training with senior military leaders and spoke about the importance of NATO forces training together.

    “Challenges to our security have further brought us together to strengthen our defense capacity. We must be prepared for any challenges and continuously increase our ability to coordinate actions with our allies," Grybauskaite said. “Collective defense is the cornerstone of a united and strong NATO because joint efforts enable us to counter all threats.”

    During her visit, Grybauskaite, observed a combined counterattack, received briefings from military leadership and viewed static displays from participating countries.

    Lt. Gen. Jonas Vytautas Zukas, Lithuania‘s chief of Defense, also stressed the importance of Iron Sword and the opportunities it provided.

    “Soldiers of Lithuania and NATO allies have once again showcased their ability to act in a coordinated manner and to integrate different direct and indirect fire support systems into action successfully. “It is a great opportunity for training, rendering host nation support to forces from NATO allies and partners deployed in Lithuania and for interacting while completing collective tasks.”

    Throughout the exercise, participants trained collectively to carry out operations according to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which states that an attack on one Ally shall be an attack on all.

    Lt. Col. Johnny Evans, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, said that he appreciated his units role in the exercise and stressed the importance of being able to train alongside their NATO counterparts.

    “This exercise forced us not to just hone or refine our own war fighting skills, but also determine and understand ways that we can better work together as a force,” said Evans. “I felt nothing but sheer pride for my Soldiers showcasing what they do on a daily basis."

    Exercise Iron Sword took place as part of the U.S. Army Europe led Operation Atlantic Resolve, which consists of multinational training exercises and operations held throughout Europe designed to enhance interoperability, strengthen relationships among allied forces and demonstrate U.S. commitment to NATO.



    Date Taken: 11.20.2015
    Date Posted: 11.20.2015 15:30
    Story ID: 182484
    Location: PABRADE, LT 

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