Secretary General visits NATO battlegroups training together in Lithuania
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg watched two of NATO’s battlegroups train in Lithuania on Tuesday (20 June 2017). Mr. Stoltenberg observed a river crossing by Allied forces and then met troops taking part in Exercise Iron Wolf. Germany leads the NATO battlegroup in Lithuania, and for the first time it trained with the US-led battlegroup based in Poland. On Monday (19 June 2017) the Secretary General welcomed the Canadian forces which are leading the battlegroup stationed in Latvia. The United Kingdom commands a similar NATO force in Estonia.
Alongside the Lithuanian President, Dalia Grybauskaitė, Mr. Stoltenberg thanked Lithuania for holding the exercise and for hosting NATO forces. He said the four multinational battlegroups now deployed in the eastern part of the Alliance were a sign of NATO unity and the continuing strength of the transatlantic bond, with “soldiers from North America and Europe standing together, ready to defend each other.”
In Lithuania, Germany leads forces from Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway. The battlegroup will serve alongside Lithuanian troops to defend the Alliance and deter any possible aggression. Together with the three other battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia and Poland, these forces form part of the biggest reinforcement to NATO’s collective deterrence and defence in a generation.