Small Lithuania is very frightened by the “increased military activity of Russia” near its borders and along the perimeter of the entire Baltic region. From Vilnius, this is broadcast no less than once a week: both in the Baltic and restlessly, and red-star Russian fighters almost rammed civilian aircraft, and paratroopers parachutes now and then obscure the “peaceful sky” ...
But “clanging weapons"In the republic itself" in response to this "exceeds all reasonable limits. Judging by the published plans, the Lithuanian army will literally not get out of the exercises during the 2015 year. Fortunately, this is facilitated by the fact that in 2015, the military budget has been increased by a third compared to last year. Latvia and Estonia are also trying to keep up with such an active neighbor - NATO colleagues.
"LIGHTNING SHOCK" YES "LETTERING TRAMBERS" ...
The first of these, Interaction-2015, took place from 17 to February 21. 1800 military practiced in the field response to the threat of hybrid warfare. The commander of the Gelezinis Vilkas (“Iron Wolf”) brigade involved in the exercises, Colonel Raimundas Vaikšnoras, explained that they were working to prevent threats that could have arisen in conditions when the enemy was not conducting open hostilities. And in this sense, a feature of the teachings was that they were held not only at the testing ground (Gaijunai), but also in two cities (Rukla and Jonava).
It must be remembered that in Soviet times, the 242-th training center for junior specialists for airborne forces was located in Rukla; now the headquarters and the headquarters of the said brigade and one of its six battalions are stationed here. And Jonava is a district center with a population of 35 thousand people, known for having a serious accident at the Nitrogen Production Association in 1989 year, and about 40 thousand were resettled from a dangerous zone due to the release of large amounts of liquefied ammonia into the atmosphere. residents. And within the framework of the exercises, the tasks of interaction of the motorized infantry brigade and the rapid response battalion under conditions of increased combat readiness with the simulation of scenarios of various threats and tactical redeployment of units were worked out. At the same time, the Iron Wolves actively coordinated their actions with the municipality of Yonavsky district and interacted with other military units deployed in Rukla.
Well, warm up, took place. Down and Out trouble started. Already in April, the Lithuanian volunteers from among the permanent reserve and the psychological struggle group from the Iron Wolf wagon-infantry brigade will engage in the Saber Juncture exercise (“Sword Shock”), which will be held in Germany. The role of the likely enemy will be played by the Lithuanian soldiers from the battalion named after them. Grand Duchess Birute.
At the same time, the national rapid reaction force (SSR) will conduct field exercises Liepsnojantis kalavijas (“Fire Sword”) with standard weapon shooting.
In May, Zaibo kirtis (“Thunderbolt”) exercises are scheduled - again with the participation of the SBR. The latter will train in cooperation with the structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the special services to respond to the so-called non-conventional challenges (another definition of hybrid warfare). During the maneuvers mobilization readiness will be checked and even partial mobilization will be carried out. Troops will strengthen the protection of strategic facilities. In practice, the possibilities of protection against cybernetic attacks will be assessed. There will also be classes to ensure the survivability of telecommunications in an environment where aggression is inevitable.
In the same period, the artillery battalion will conduct exercises Ugninis griausmas ("Fire Thunder") with live firing at sea targets.
Kardo kirtis large-scale international maneuvers with combat firing will take place in June at training grounds and at training centers in Pabrad, Rukla and Nemencine. In addition to the battalions of the same brigade of the Iron Wolves, cavalry, artillery and engineering battalions will enter the fields. They will be supported by units of the Bundeswehr and a company of American paratroopers stationed in Lithuania. The “strike with a blade” of a conditional enemy will be flying the flag of the European command of the US Armed Forces.
Also, as the press service of the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense informs, the military personnel of the national army will twice take part in exercises in the territory of Ukraine during the year. In the summer - in the Rapid Trident (“Striker of a Trident”) maneuvers, which traditionally have been held for a number of years under the auspices of the United States at the Yavorovsky training ground near Lviv. In November, in the field training battles of the Maple Arch (“The Maple Arc”) together with units of the Polish Army; there will be Canada.
In the fourth quarter, the Gelezinis kardas (“The Enduring Sword”) exercises will be held with the participation of the units of the American army, the dragoons battalion of the Lithuanian army and the nearest reserve volunteers. After some time, the maritime combat training campaign Kormoranas (“Cormorant”) and the doctrine with firing Liepsnojantis kalavijas (“Fire Sword”), which will be conducted by the Special Response Force, will start in parallel.
In the same final period, ground forces units will be involved in field exits of the Perkuno skydas (“Thunderer’s Shield”) and Medziotojas anti-tank exercises (“Hunter”) at the proving ground near the town of Pabrade (directly near the Belarusian-Lithuanian border).
In addition to all this, Lithuania will take an active part in the training of troop contingent under the code name NRF-16, which provides for combat duty as part of the NATO rapid reaction force. Lithuania will participate in this duty next year.
Announcing all this military activity, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense stresses that “all the exercises of the Lithuanian army, joint exercises with the company of paratroopers 173 of the US Cavalry division deployed in the country and with other NATO allies are aimed at deepening the military cooperation of the North Atlantic alliance and in response to possible Russian aggression in the Baltic countries. ”
At the same time, Vilnius is strengthening its military power. In March, a military transport ship flying the US flag delivered to the port of Riga as part of the Atlantic Resolve operation (Atlantic Decision) Tanks, Infantry fighting vehicles, cars, boom and barrage machines and other equipment. The press service of the Ministry of Defense of Latvia reported that 5 Abrams M1A2 tanks and 6 Bradley M2A3 infantry fighting vehicles will be sent to Lithuania together with a motorized infantry company from the 2nd brigade of the 3rd infantry division. In Vilnius, it was specified that everyone would settle down on the territory of the Lithuanian training regiment in Rukla at the place of deployment of the mechanized infantry battalion named after Grand Duke Vaidotas.
The unloading of these weapons was furnished with PR. The commander of the US 21 command, Major General John O'Connor, went ashore and said that the US Army would continue its presence in the Baltic States and Poland “as long as it takes to strengthen NATO alliance and restrain Russia's aggression. Our message to the inhabitants of Latvia: the US Army can and will provide the support that is needed - from the air, sea and land. We will expand the Atlantic Resolve operation to the south, to Romania and Bulgaria, thus creating a united security front from Russian aggression. ”
And this summer, a NATO command center should begin work in Lithuania, in which about 50 officers will work.
Overseas, they do not miss the chance to not skimp on the praises of Vilnius for its consistent anti-Russian policy. 10 March in Washington, US Secretary of State John Kerry, welcoming his Lithuanian counterpart Linas Linkyavichyus, once again literally crumbled in compliments: "Lithuania is a small country, but let me say - it is one of the strongest, most sincere and intelligent NATO partners, especially in terms of striving to the implementation of the Minsk agreements and taking into account the need to respect the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine. ”
CAVALYER YANKI AT ABRAMS TANKS
Latvia, as is known, operates in the same fairway. In January, Lieutenant-General Frederick Hodges, commander of US ground forces in Europe, visited the Adazh military base in a demonstrative manner. He participated in the solemn meeting of the 2 Cavalry Regiment of the US Army, which had rotated from Germany. In his speech, he announced a series of joint exercises, which will be held not only in 2015, but in 2016. At the same time, the commander of the armed forces of Latvia, Raymond Graube, assured the distinguished guest that “the friendship between Latvia and the United States, which began the 1990s, is a long time, if not forever”: “And today you are here because the Russian aggression in Ukraine has changed the situation in the region and the world. "
These American "cavalrymen" (170 number to military-equipped personnel), of course, arrived in the republic not on horseback. At their disposal are 50 units of the most steel of American military equipment, including the Stryker 17 armored vehicles. At the end of March, according to the national informant LETA, they will be replaced by the Yanki 3 Infantry Division.
And from March 21 to March 31, military exercises Summer Shield - 2015 ("Summer Shield-2015") will continue in the country. The land and air forces of another five states will take part in them: Great Britain, Canada, Lithuania, Luxembourg and the USA (in total more than 500 foreign military personnel). It is officially reported that “the exercises are organized to improve cooperation between NATO countries on the basis of common standards and procedures, and their task is to coordinate fire support during offensive operations of infantrymen using artillery and aviation, as well as the use of engineering support to overcome obstacles. "
At the same time, in Riga, they are determined to successfully repel cyber attacks and other possible threats in the information space. This was stated by the country's head of government, Laimdota Straujuma, at a recent meeting of the national security council, which was attended by top officials, including the president of Latvia, Andris Berzins, along with the heads of responsible institutions. According to Mrs. Straujuma, some elements of the hybrid war in Latvia are already being felt. “We hear statements about human rights in Latvia from various Russian officials,” she said. - This is just one of the elements. Our security agencies are working, and I am absolutely convinced of their ability to prevent both cyber attacks and various provocations that can be expected. ”
One may get the impression that a high-ranking lady regrets that “both cyber attacks and various provocations” are completely absent from the eastern neighbor, and the national special services are “completely determined” to fail to hit the face in the dirt, to prove their usefulness.
As for Estonia, this year it seems to significantly outweigh its two neighbors in terms of countering the “Moscow aggression”. The government allocated 44 million euros to hold only in May 2015, the largest in stories countries of military studies with the modest name Siil-2015 ("Hedgehog-2015"). Training battles start on May 4 and last for 11 days. They will cover the entire territory of the country, including the north and north-east near the borders with Russia.
The country's defense minister, Sven Mikser, proudly announced that more than 13 thousand Estonian soldiers and officers, reservists, members of the militant volunteer organization Kaitseliit (League of Defense), as well as an impressive contingent of NATO allies, will take part in the maneuvers on land and at sea. Indeed, on March 10, the main headquarters of the Defense Forces distributed information that the United States was sending a tank platoon with Abrams tanks and two paratrooper platoons to Estonia, which would be located in the military town of Tapa near Tallinn.
The application is very serious. For comparison: in the Russian-Belarusian exercises “West”, from 2009, conducted every two years, from 9 to 12, thousands of soldiers of two armies were involved.
The last remarkable doctrine Estonians spent in November. The script was like that. The army of a “hostile state” invaded Estonia, after which martial law was declared in the country, and NATO sent a rapid reaction force there. Significantly outnumbered by the aggressor, of course, "shamefully fled", barely envied a half thousand soldiers and civilian specialists who had already arrived from the 20 countries - members of the alliance. It is possible, of course, to laugh at the “indiscretion” of such a scenario, but it is obvious that the spirit of the Estonian army is thus “lifted up”, a mood is set on a decisive victory.