Search our content

Home  /  Newsroom  /  News  /  2022  /  Exercise Thunder Storm integrates German brigade into Lithuanian Armed Forces defence plans

Dec 15 2022

Exercise Thunder Storm integrates German brigade into Lithuanian Armed Forces defence plans

SZCZECIN, Poland – On December 9, Lithuania’s annual Command Post Exercise (CPX) Thunder Storm concluded in Rukla. During this major training event, the German enhanced Vigilance Activity (eVA) Brigade based in Lithuania practiced decision making processes and operational planning alongside the Lithuanian Army. It was the first time the two Allies worked together in this framework. 

Among other objectives, Thunder Storm served to fully integrate the eVA Brigade into Lithuania’s National Defence Plan. The scenario of the exercise was demanding: defending Lithuania against an attacking adversary. German soldiers together with their Allies from the Lithuanian Land Forces Command practiced the skills necessary to successfully plan and conduct operations, including computer-based situation mapping, decision-making and operations management using highly advanced military software, i.e. the battle management system Sitaware.

Exercise Thunder Storm was conducted in a classified environment, including the eVA Brigade command post / Photo by Gil de Clercq

Deployed in Rukla, Lithuania, the eVA Brigade’s Forward Command Element is formed by the German Army 41. Mechanised Infantry Brigade “Vorpommern”, whose selected service members are stationed in Rukla on the permanent basis. For Thunder Storm, they were reinforced by the additional personnel from the 41. Brigade’s headquarters in Neubrandenburg and the assigned German soldiers who are currently deployed with NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania. Additionally, in attendance were representatives from the Lithuanian Army “Geležinis Vilkas” and “Žemaitija” brigades.

While summarising the exercise, Lieutenant Colonel Sebastian Süß, the Commander of the eVA Brigade’s Forward Command Element, stated: "I witnessed high motivation. The Brigade’s soldiers rose up to the new challenge in a completely new framework, side by side with the Lithuanian partners. Considering it was the first time we cooperated so closely in such a classified environment, we achieved a remarkable result."

Together, we have made an important contribution to Lithuania's defence readiness.

In September 2022, the German troops made up the command unit of a new brigade, increasing NATO’s presence on the Alliance’s eastern flank. Süß is convinced that this German-Lithuanian cooperation will make a beneficial impact on the regional security: "Since the beginning of our tour of duty, we have taken every opportunity to further deepen cooperation with our Baltic Allies, and it has clearly paid off just a few months later. We are looking forward to many more joint exercises in 2023."



The eVA Brigade's Forward Command Element is stationed in Rukla, Lithuania, and its first service members were deployed to Lithuania in September 2022 / Photos by Gil de Clercq and Ministry of Defence in Lithuania

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office based on release provided by LTC André Forkert, NATO eFP Battlegroup Lithuania

Search our content:


Multinational Corps Northeast
Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin

Media Operations

Public Affairs Office
Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin