Will World War 3 Soon occur? US and 10 other NATO allies are conducting the Iron Sword exercises in Lithuania.
So far, this year’s exercises has the most number of participating troops since it started in 2014. According to RT news website, the participants include 4,000 troops from the US, the UK, Germany, Canada, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Luxemburg, and the three Baltic states.
There were only 2,500 and just over 2,000 troops participating in the exercises held in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Iron Sword 2016 Enhances NATO Response Capability
“This time poses new unexpected challenges before our military,” General Waldemar Rupšys points out. The exercises will help prepare the Lithuania military for more efficient response to conventional military threats, adds Rupšys, the head of Lithuania’s Land Forces.
The training includes offensive and defensive operations and rapid deployments, among others, the Lithuania Defense Ministry explains. These exercises would enhance joint operations with the allied forces. NATO and Russia have been conducting military exercises fueling fears over World War 3 Soon.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Col. Dalius Polekauskas notes that the military exercise provides an opportunity to demonstrate skills.
“When we share our knowledge during exercises, we become stronger,” according to Polekauskas, the maneuvers commander.
With the holding of Iron Sword 2016, Lithuania could also test its newly-formed Zemaitija (Iron Wolf) brigade. The brigade has two battalions and support units. The country plans to add two more battalions in 2017.
The Iron Sword 2016 exercises started on November 20, 2016 and ends on December 2.
Russia Demands Explanation Over Swiss Escort Of Presidential Plane
Meanwhile, tension arose recently after Swiss fighter jets surrounded a Russian presidential plane across Switzerland’s airspace. The fighter jets escorted the plane until it reached the Swiss border. The presidential plane was on its way to Peru for the APEC summit.
The Russian embassy in Geneva called for an explanation on the Friday incident, according to Reuters. “(We) have expressed surprise and asked for explanations from Switzerland,” Russia’s embassy in Switzerland tweeted on Saturday.
However, Switzerland explains their fighter planes were just making routine checks.
The tension between Europe and Russia continues over what is perceived as “aggressive actions.”
Both Russia and NATO have been building military presence near the Baltic states.