Friday, May 29, 2009

Baltic Eagle 2009

The armed forces of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are in the final stage of training the Baltic Battalion and will soon commence Baltic Eagle 2009 military training, scheduled from 02 to 17 June at the Ādaži military training area in Latvia. The Baltic Battalion is a multinational unit delegated to the NATO Response Force (NRF).

The military training has been planned by the Baltic States Land Forces commanders. Approximately 1 100 soldiers will be involved in the military training, which will test the combat readiness of the Battalion for inclusion in the NRF.

The combat readiness of the Battalion will be assessed using NATO standard procedures. The assessment will be performed by representatives of the armed forces of the Baltic States, with support from the Advisers and Training Team personnel of the Danish Defence. The Danish Defence has played a significant role in Baltic States Land Forces Brigade training for several years. Representatives from NATO will monitor the assessment process.

The combat readiness of teams delegated to the Baltic Battalion has already been tested by the NATO member countries in military training either managed by the international staff of the Baltic Battalion or run on a national level. The joint management of all forces and operations will be conducted during the Baltic Eagle 2009 military training.

According to the military training schedule, the NRF will take positions in the military conflict zone and will execute extensive operations, including the relocation of forces and offensive and defensive tasks.

The military training will take place in three stages: the coordination of forces, field training, and combat firing. New weapons and equipment corresponding to the modern combat warfare requirements will be used during the training at the Ādaži military training area, including third generation Spike guided anti-tank rockets, heavy 8x8 multifunctional transportation vehicles and SISU armoured personnel carriers, G36 assault rifles and other equipment. Approximately 200 technical units will be involved in the military training, including 40 armoured personnel carriers.

The Baltic States soldiers will apply common combat procedures and common language during the military training; however, there will be some differences. For example, Lithuanian soldiers will use armoured M 113 personnel carriers, while the Estonians will use SISU and the Latvians will use an armoured Humvee wheeled vehicle.

“We have conducted various military training for Baltic Battalion teams, both on a national and international level. It’s obvious that they are ready to execute the assigned tasks. Now, with the deployment of forces, we will have the opportunity to observe how these different teams work together as one entity, as a united team. It will be a dress rehearsal for combat readiness for performing certain tasks when fully equipped,” emphasizes Baltic Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Remigijus Baltrenas from Lithuania.

The Baltic Battalion was created in 2007 with a joint agreement between the Baltic States. The armed forces of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania provided personnel for the infantry company of the Battalion, combat support elements and other combat capabilities. Each country is responsible for the provisions of its own contingent. The overall contribution of the Baltic States (approximately 800 soldiers) to the NATO forces is significant. At the beginning of 2010, the Battalion will commence its six month on-call period as a part of the 14th rotation of the NRF component for land.

The NRF is a high-readiness and technologically advanced combat force created by the Alliance with components of the land, air, naval, and special forces, which can be easily deployed when required. It can perform combat tasks in any part of the world and from a wide range of operations.

More information is available here

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