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Rapid Sword: division and brigade-level headquarters forward command post deployment exercise

Rapid Sword: division and brigade-level headquarters  forward command post  deployment exercise

On July 16–29  a division headquarters with subordinate brigade headquarters is deployed in Lithuania for the first time to train response to hybrid and high-intensity threats. 

Exercise Schneller Degen running at the Lithuanian Armed Forces Gen Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area in Pabradė  trains the staff of the 10th Panzer Division of Germany and its brigade command elements. The exercise objective is to redeploy headquarters and command elements into the NATO forward region within minimum time with an aim to enhance interoperability and cooperation of allies in the process.  The division command has arranged the Bundeswehr command post exercise on the territory of a NATO ally on its own initiative.  

On July 15 Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen  Valdemaras Rupšys met with  Commander of the 10th Panzer Division Maj Gen Ruprecht von Butler to discuss the military exercise, experience from a variety of military international operations, and other topics of military cooperation enhancement. 

On July 16 Commander of the 10th Panzer Division Maj Gen  Ruprecht von Butler visited the  Pabradė Training Area to meet with the Media, present the exercise and open it.  

At Exercise Schneller Degen, headquarters personnel of the 10th Panzer Division of the Bundeswehr will be training staffs of the 12th Tank Brigade, 37th Armored Infantry Brigade and the 23rd Mountain Infantry Brigade of Germany, as well as the staff of the Mechanized Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf of the Lithuanian Armed Forces to plan and lead joint allied  defence operations. The exercise scenario trains responding to hybrid threats and carrying  out high-intensity collective defence operations. The exercise will involve actual aircraft flying real terrain surveillance missions.

The forward-deployed headquarters of the Division, headquarters of the Brigades in its composition, exercise evaluation personnel, and part of the training units are deploying to Lithuania, while the main headquarters and other units remain in Germany,  Wildflecken, and control the exercise rhythm  in our country.

Annual Exercise Schneller Degen was for the first time moved from winter season to summer due to the pandemic.   Lithuania will ensure Host National Support – logistics, provision, procurement, transportation, catering, and other services. 

The international command element exercise Schneller Degen is the first exercise the 10th Panzer Division Headquarters with assigned units is conducting abroad.   The joint training strengthens the cooperation between Lithuanian, U.S. and German military units and sends a strong signal:   Even if the conditions are adverse, Germany still supports NATO allies and demonstrates the strength of its commitments and the importance of Alliance solidarity.

Information credits: Lithuanian Armed Forces
Photo credits: Maj Tomas Balkus.