Iron Wolf 2018, a Lithuanian-led multinational exercise, wrapped up in Pabrade on Monday (19 November 2018), with a live-fire demonstration.
According to NATO’s statement, the exercise, which began on 4 November, mobilised around 3,500 troops from 13 NATO Allies¹ and partner nation Ukraine.
It provided an opportunity for forces to enhance their readiness, and train with one of four NATO battlegroups in the region.
It is worth noting that geographically the exercises were held in the border areas with the Republic of Belarus. This fact caused concern both in Belarus itself and in its main ally in Russia.
The exercise was designed to test the battlegroup’s readiness to plan and conduct defensive operations, together with a battalion of the Lithuanian Iron Wolf Brigade. The battlegroup also tested its military mobility en route to the exercise. In less than 24 hours, 10 convoys with around 350 vehicles deployed from their garrison to the exercise. Around 1,400 soldiers from six nations were involved. This was the largest single movement of military vehicles Lithuania has seen for years.
“We conduct exercise Iron Wolf to train and evaluate the ability of our units to quickly redeploy forces to any place in Lithuania and to carry out multinational defensive operations. This is the biggest exercise this semester together with our allies. We will train mobility, the ability to quickly reach any area to defend it against any enemy in the territory in Lithuania,” said Colonel Mindaugas Steponavičius, Commander of the Lithuanian Mechanized Infantry Iron Wolf Brigade.
Meeting with Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis in Brussels today, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked Lithuania for hosting the exercise. “Such exercises are part of the Alliance’s strengthened defence and deterrence,” he said.