NATO Allies wrap up exercise Iron Sword 2016 in Lithuania
Troops from 11 NATO Allies concluded a two-week training exercise in Lithuania on Friday (2 December 2016). Dubbed “Iron Sword”, the annual exercise tested the combat readiness of participating soldiers.
Over 4,000 troops took part in the exercise, which began on 20 November in Pabrade and Rukla, Lithuania. Led by the Lithuanian Armed Forces, participants exercised in tactics used in urban combat. Soldiers conducted an assault on an urban warfare training site. Working as part of multinational battalions, they also took turns attacking and defending the site over several days.
The exercises tested the readiness, coordination and interoperability of the participating forces. It demonstrated Allies' resolve and commitment to collective defence. Under the auspices of the OSCE, military observers from Belarus and Kazakhstan visited the exercise. NATO partners Sweden and Ukraine also sent military observers.
NATO and Allied exercises, such as Iron Sword, increase the readiness and flexibility of our forces. They remain a fundamental part of how the Alliance provides security to its members.