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JFC Brunssum Commander Visits enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Lithuania

Rukla, Lithuania– on Thursday, June 15, General Salvatore Farina paid a visit to the largest training event in Lithuania this year – Exercise Iron Wolf 2017. Before arriving at the Rukla training area, General Farina met with the Lithuanian Chief of Defense - Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas.

Later the same day, Commander JFC Brunssum, together with the Lithuanian Iron Wolf Brigade Commander – Colonel Mindaugas Steponavicius - and the commander of the German-led eFP Battle Group in Lithuania - Lieutenant Colonel Christoph Huber – witnessed a live demonstration of military capability that featured the two entities working closely together.

General Farina seized the opportunity afforded by this visit to commend the commander of the German-led eFP Battle Group: "You and your soldiers of the Nations contributing to this Battle Group have done much in impressively little time to enhance NATO’s effective capability to deter and defend against any foreseeable threat. Well done! More Together!”.

The German-led Battle Group was the first of four enhanced Forward Presence multinational battalion-size Groups to arrive in Eastern Europe. Since their arrival in Lithuania, as of the beginning of the year, soldiers have been conducting training and exercises to enhance their mutual understanding and interoperability with the Lithuanian Iron Wolf Brigade. The multinational Battle Group is led by Germany, while Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway are contributing troops and military equipment.  In July they will also be joined by Luxembourg.

Exercise Iron Wolf 2017 is one of the largest multinational exercises scheduled in Lithuania this year and will run until June 23. Its main goal is to assess the preparedness of the multinational NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group, with a  focus on promoting interoperability with Allies and regional partners.

The exercise, held in southern, middle and eastern parts of Lithuania, is a part of the US-led Exercise Saber Strike conducted in the Baltic states and Poland. This exercise involves roughly 5300 participants from Lithuania and eight other NATO countries: Belgium, Germany, Poland, Portugal, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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