Lithuania holds military exercise Strong Hussar 2016

Source: XinhuaEditor: Ouyang
2016-08-18 16:59

VILNIUS, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Tactical military exercise Strong Hussar 2016 started on Wednesday in central Lithuania.

Ten-day drills at Gaiziunai polygon are aimed at evaluating battalions' skills and ability to coordinate actions with the allied forces, according to Lithuanian army.

The exercise is attended by around 1,300 troops, including Polish and U.S. forces, while U.S. tanks Abrams will be used during defense operations.

Organizers say the training is unique since it is attended by three units of soldiers from mandatory military service and one reserve unit. All units are to conduct defense and attack operations, perform tactical marching, plan combat support, according to the Lithuanian army.

"During the exercise, soldiers who are concluding their mandatory military service must use as much of their tactical knowledge as possible and use the tanks in a way that enemy forces would have no chances to carry out their intentions," the head of the exercise and the commander of mechanized infantry brigade Iron Wolf colonel Mindaugas Steponavicius told soldiers during the opening ceremony.

"Constant interoperability with the foreign partners is the core aspect," Steponavicius said.

Laser-based simulation system MILES will be used during the training, said the Lithuanian army.

The latest training follows the fire support unit exercise Flaming Thunder 2016 held two weeks earlier in Lithuania and attended by allied forces.

The Baltic state has strengthened its military training and asked for an increased military presence from the allies since 2014.

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