Monday, June 8, 2009

BALTBAT evalutaion exercise began in Latvia

„Baltic Eagle 2009", international evaluation exercise of the Baltic Battalion, began in Adaži Military Area, Latvia, June 2.

Flags of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and the Alliance were solemnly hoisted in the formation square of Adaži Military Area. Adm. Andreja Mazmalis, Advisor of the Latvian Ministry of Defence, Chief of Defence of Latvia Maj. Gen. Juris Maklakovs, conductor of the exercise Commander MIB „Iron Wolf" Col. Vilmantas Tamošaitis, representatives of Latvian and Estonian Land Forces, and the Head of the Danish Advisory and Training Staff Col. Verner Iversen were present in the opening of the exercise.

The exercise designed to test the unit's readiness level will be attended by around a thousand soldiers. Nearly half of them come from the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Organisation and conduct of the exercise is a joint responsibility of the Motorised Infantry Brigade „Iron Wolf" of the Lithuanian Land Force and corresponding brigades of the Latvian and Estonian Land Forces. Schedule of the exercise is presented by Commanders Land Forces of all the three Baltic States.

Evaluation of the exercise will be conducted in compliance with NATO procedures.

Representatives of each of the Baltic countries supported by personnel from the Danish Advisory and Training Staff that has been playing a significant role in the military training of the Baltic Land Forces' brigades for several years will assess readiness of the unit for duty in NRF. Representatives of NATO headquarters will provide supervision of the evaluation process.

According to the exercise scenario, troops will be deployed in a region of military conflict to fulfill wide-scope operations: road march to the assembly region, offensive and defensive tasks. The exercise will be enacted in three stages: integration of capabilities, field exercise, and live firing.

The exercise has been planned by the commanders of the Baltic States Land Forces. It will involve approximately 1 100 soldiers, with the common objective to test the combat readiness of the Battalion for participation in the NRF. Over 500 Latvian NAF soldiers will participate in the exercise. The exercise will involve approximately 200 vehicles, including 40 armoured personnel carriers. The exercise will be supported by an Air Force helicopter with its special Bamby Bucket fire-fighting device, to carry out emergency medical evacuation or fire-fighting in the Ādaži firing range if necessary.

The exercise 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 firing range, including third generation Spike guided anti-tank rockets, heavy 8x8 multifunctional transportation vehicles and SISU armoured personnel carriers, G36 assault rifles and other equipment.

The Baltic States soldiers will apply common combat procedures and common language during the exercise; 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

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.

Latvian MOD

Lithuanian MOD



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