After nearly two weeks of training, international Exercise Iron Wolf 2023-I has entered the final and most intense phase: offensive and defensive operations honed by over 3500 troops with tactical vehicles at the Gaižiūnai Training Area in Jonava region. Troops of Vaidotas Infantry Battalion of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group Lithuania use tanks, IFVs and armored personnel carriers in “force on force” training supported by the Lithuanian Air Force Air Defence Battalion with Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) and an MQ-9 combat drone armed with Hellfire missiles and remotely controlled from the United States.
Large-scale operations are controlled by several hundreds of specifically trained observers-evaluators who adjust actions of the training units, take decisions concerning losses incurred and finally provide an assessment of a unit’s readiness for its designated tasks. This year the exercise also focused particularly on interoperability with public institutions: joint medical evacuations of the injured by land and air were trained with the Hospital of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, as well as communication training with Jonava authorities in the area of simulated operations.
Exercise Iron Wolf first was held over two decades ago, while the force-on-force training method was adopted in 2017 with the deployment of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania and its integration into the Iron Wolf Brigade. The series of exercise maintains combat readiness of the Iron Wolf Brigade and helps in synchronizing actions and procedures between Lithuanian and Allied troops during joint operations.
Info credit: IF Iron Wolf
Photo credits: LITHAF