Exercise IWII 17 was a multinational – 13 nation strong – Field Training Exercise which promoted international military relations and created opportunities to train units in a multinational environment. Main aim of the exercise was to train and increase co-operation between enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Lithuania and Lithuanian Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf. MNC NE, NATO's Regional Custodian in the Northeastern Region, was assigned special role with its Tactical Command Post (TAC CP) element.
"It was the first TAC CP deployment abroad and exercise served us a test bed for future deployments of our Command Post" – said Major Hracho, MNC NE J7 Exercise Branch.
Deployment abroad means that preparations start much earlier and involve also MNC NE subordinated units.
"For the first time we have trained movement and dislocation of troops from Poland and Germany as one entity. Planning procedures, coordination, movement as one echelon, this is always challenging", explained Lieutenant Rusak from the MNC NE Command Support Brigade.
Although Exercise Iron Wolf II 17 was smaller in scale comparing to Polish national exercise Anakonda 2016 but in no way less important exercise. Development of procedures, establishment of command post and enhancement of the level of interoperability of multinational forces is always vital.
Commenting on the process of deployment as whole, Lieutenant Klessa – TAC CP Commander – from Polish 100th Signal Battalion emphasised that deployment abroad means that there will be some novelties but all designated mission critical equipment were up and running in no time. Thus, from his point of view this mission was a success.
Brigadier General John E. Novalis II, MNC NE Deputy Chief of Staff Operations highlighted the fact that NATO will always be in the region for deterrence.
Colonel Mindaugaus Steponavicius, Lithuanian Mechanised Infantry "Iron Wolf" Brigade Commander underlined that exercise was about transparency, understanding of the decision making processes and commanders' intent.