September 19-25 The “Strong Shield 5” exercise of the Vytis District 5th National Defense Volunteer Forces of the Lithuanian Armed Forces National Defense Volunteer Forces (KASP) is taking place in northeastern Lithuania, where about 900 soldiers are training to plan and carry out defense operations, to coordinate actions with other units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and allied forces. Col. Juozos Vitkaus’ engineering battalion, Dr. Soldiers of the Jonas Basanavičius Military Medical Service, as well as volunteers from Latvia, Denmark, Norway, the US Pennsylvania National Guard and soldiers from the British Ranger Regiment.
“The evaluation field tactics exercise “Strong Shield” is an assessment of the end of the military training cycle of the national team, and the volunteer soldiers are training to defend what is most important to them – their land and the Independence of themselves, their loved ones, and their country,” says KASP Commander Col. Linas Kubilius.
The exercises organized by the KASP headquarters began with the operation planning process carried out by the Vytis national team headquarters and company management groups. During the weekend, the stage of field tactical exercises will be moved, when volunteer soldiers will practically train to carry out planned tasks in the area of collective responsibility (in the districts of Biržai, Pasvali, Kupiškios, Anykščiai, Utena, Zarasi, Rokiškis, Panevėžys and the city of Panevėžys). September 24-25 the movement of soldiers and military transport will take place in the region during daylight and dark hours, and simulated ammunition and explosive packages will be used.
During the “Tvirtas skydas 5” exercise, the planning and task execution skills of the Vytis team headquarters and company soldiers are evaluated by representatives from the 8th team of the KASP Great Combat District. The training will also assess the readiness of soldiers to perform non-kinetic operations, as well as the ability of medical instructors to perform the “delayed evacuation of the wounded” function.
Exercises “Tvirtas skydas” are organized twice a year in a different KASP team.
The National Defense Volunteer Forces train volunteer soldiers for the armed defense of the land territory of the Republic of Lithuania. About 5,200 military volunteers serve in the force. Combat training exercises for volunteer soldiers take place about 30 days a year, mostly on weekends, so volunteers combine work or studies with service in the Volunteer Forces.