Exercise Baltic Piranha underway in Klaipeda district of Lithuania

5 October 2015 (Last Updated October 5th, 2015 18:30)

Military personnel from the Belgian Army's Battalion Bevrijding-Linie and soldiers assigned to a reconnaissance company from Luxembourg have started a joint training exercise with their counterparts from Lithuania and the US.

Military personnel from the Belgian Army's Battalion Bevrijding-Linie and soldiers assigned to a reconnaissance company from Luxembourg have started a joint training exercise with their counterparts from Lithuania and the US.

Being held in Klaipeda district and General Povilas Plechavicius Training Area of Lithuania, Exercise Baltic Piranha aims to train rapid response force of the Belgian Armed Forces, enabling them to hone conduct of stability operations and other joint actions.

In addition to the Kairiai Training Area and surrounding territory, Kazlu Ruda Training Area in Gaižiunai and the area around the town of Jonava, and in Pabrade Training Area, some portions of the exercise are also scheduled to be conducted near inhabited territories.

During the phase in Klaipeda district and Kairiai Training Area, the participants will conduct various military operations, such as installing check posts, ensuring control, as well as escorting VIPs, amongst other tasks.

Luxembourg's reconnaissance personnel will reconnoitre and analyse the environment, while the Lithuanian and Belgian troops will use military vehicles, arms and pyrotechnics and blast ammunition in the exercise territory at various times of the day.

"Exercise Baltic Piranha involves more than 500 soldiers and approximately 100 units of different military equipment."

The exercise will now move to Gaiziunai Training Area and Jonava district, where the soldiers will train joint actions in a civil environment, conduct patrols, communicate with local residents, and corporately train to ensure different safety measures.

On 21 October, the participants will redeploy to Silvestras Žukauskas Training Audience in Pabrade. The exercise will conclude on 28 October.

Organised by the Lithuanian Land Force, Exercise Baltic Piranha involves more than 500 soldiers and approximately 100 units of different military equipment, including Piranha and M-113 armoured personnel carriers and Dingo II reconnaissance vehicles, as well as Humvees and Lynx all-terrain vehicles.

The exercise represents the first deployment of a company-sized Belgian Army contingent to Lithuania, while soldiers from Luxembourg have been deployed from the same reconnaissance company that provided soldiers for Exercise Iron Sword, which took place in Lithuania in 2014.

The Belgian and Luxembourg soldiers have been deployed to Lithuania as part of the assurance measures agreed at the Nato Summit in Wales in 2014.