First in the series, Exercise Thunder Shield 2023 trained the Lithuanian Armed Forces Headquarters

First in the series, Exercise Thunder Shield 2023 trained the Lithuanian Armed Forces Headquarters

On April 6 the first exercise in the Thunder series was held at the Lithuanian Armed Forces Defence Staff Headquarters. The exercise objective is to hone national defence-oriented interoperability between the Lithuanian Armed Forces and enforcement and other armed structures placed under its subordination at wartime. It is an annual training event, however, this is the first year the Thunder series will include not only the liaison officers of the institutions but also command and control elements planning armed state defence operations and their respective functions in the meantime.

“The core point of reference in operational planning is the assessment of the threat and our potential adversary. NATO initiated the Alliance defence plan review back in 2018 in light of the threats facing the Alliance. The entire NATO defence plan family is currently undergoing an upgrade. We are an element of the collective defence and we are composing the defence plans as a member of the Alliance. There is no doubt, however, that all the establishment coming under subordination of the Armed Forces play an important role in these plans. We just have to remember to place correctly the tasks and principles of functioning of all the institutions to fall into the warfare concept,” said Chief of Defence Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys.

The so-called table-top exercise addressed the interoperability and procedures in the transition from peacetime to crisis or wartime of such establishments as the State Border Guard Service, Public Security Service, Dignitary Protection Service and the Defence Intelligence and Security Service under the MoD.

The subject-matter and challenges at the exercise was resolved in a discussion or requalified as requirement. Exercise participants were also briefed on the requirements of mobilization and requisition, the needs arising from planning it, the existing logistical capacity and challenges in the area. The training audience left enriched with ideas on improving the plans of their respective institutions to enhance interoperability and set the necessary operational criteria.

Two more exercise in the series, Thunder Fortress and Thunder Storm, will take place this year. It will be a more complex and inclusive exercise this time to step up readiness for the armed defence of the state.

Photo, info credits: Defence Staff