Lithuanian and US troops hold joint training in urban warfare
Dust in the training range, another day wearing out with the heat of July, a bulletproof jacket weighing down your shoulders with its 20 kg, your helmet suddenly heavier and rivers of sweat running down your face and body...
That is what the second week of joint training in Klaipėda is like for soldiers of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion and the US 173rd Airborne Brigade's 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, the Ministry of National Defence reports.
The first week of training featured a joint airborne landing operation with one of the world's leading type of helicopters, Black Hawks, while this week were drilling grenade, live fire and urban warfare tactics. The exercise was conducted in dummy buildings imitating urban area where particularly good mutual understanding and close coordination are vital for the success of tactical actions.
The soldiers taking part in the exercise assert they are happy about a great opportunity to share experience and to put NATO weaponry to the touch. He training is led in exchange by Lithuanian and US soldiers, while today the Fire and Rescue Service was also involved in supporting role. Fire fighters-rescuers were sharing their experience of getting into building in extreme conditions while soldiers were training skills of urban warfare in poor visibility conditions: in the dark and smoke-filled quarters.
"US military are more experienced in urban warfare, while we are teaching them some "raw" tactics. This is an exceptional and interesting exercise with our US colleagues," dragoon Private Dovydas Stonys shared his impressions.
The training soldiers say that the constantly changing weather conditions have made the two-week training more varied and endurance-building.