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 Jun 6 2022

Lithuania's Iron Wolf Brigade celebrates its anniversary

SZCZECIN, Poland - Every 6 June, the Lithuanian Army's prime fighting force celebrates the Wolf's Day. Exactly 30 years ago, in 1992, the then Motorized Assault Brigade was given the name "Iron Wolf".

The history of Lithuania's Mechanized Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf dates back to 1990. The formations which later became the Brigade sub-units protected the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania, the Media House, the building of the Ministers' Council, the Vilnius TV tower and other key state establishments against the Soviet Army on the memorable 13 January 1991. The Brigade has been functioning under its current name—i.e. Mechanized Infantrysince 2011, and the wolf in the formation's very name is by no means a coincident.

Legend has it that Lithuania's medieval Grand Duke Gediminas once fell asleep in a valley near the country's present-day capital and had a strange dreama huge wolf in iron armour was standing and howling on a high hill at the mouth of the Vilnia River. The next morning, Gediminas ordered to bring someone who could interpret this vision. A pagan priest explained the wolf symbolized a town and a castle the Grand Duke would establish that would be as unassailable as the wolf in iron armour. The beast's loud howl was the voice of future heroes whose great deeds would make this town renowned throughout the world. Gediminas obeyed the prophecy. Soon a castle built on the stated place, and they called the town Vilnius. For the Brigade, one of Lithuania's most famous legends stands as a symbol, an embodiment of values, and a guide.

The wolf is associated with attributes the Brigade's soldiers, non-commissioned officers and officers alike, should seek to develop, amongst which are willpower, initiative and loyalty. Together with Mechanized Infantry Brigade Samogitia, the Iron Wolf forms the prime land fighting force in Lithuania.

The Iron Wolf Mechanized Infantry Brigadespread between Rukla, Panevėžys and Alytusis comprised of the Brigade's headquarters with its subordinate Reconnaissance, Headquarters and Signal Companies as well as seven battalions (Bn): Logistic Bn, Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanized Infantry Bn, Grand Duchess Birutė Uhlan Bn, King Mindaugas Hussar Bn, General Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Bn, Duke Vaidotas Mechanized Infantry Bn andlast but not leastNATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Lithuania.

On a regular basis, Brigade and Battlegroup showcase their skills to act together as a highly responsive and interoperable force during IRON WOLF, the country's largest military exercise involving Allied and Lithuanian troops. It is held every year and aims to improve planning and defence capabilities as well as to increase multinational collaboration across military operations. Equally so, it is bound to improve the mobility of formations and the ability of eFP Battlegroup and Iron Wolf Mechanized Infantry Brigade to rapidly deploy as one unit to conduct operations in defence of Lithuania's and NATO's territory.

Exercise IRON WOLF is the most important and therefore crucial military exercise for both the Brigade and the eFP Battlegroup. It gives the opportunity to test and certify interoperability between the two formations. Needless to say, a Certification Exercise (CERTEX) is always a great setting to enhance this very skillset on different command levels, between different combat units of the Battlegroup, the Iron Wolf Brigade and other Allied formations.

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office | See the Corps' "Baltic Amber" magazine for the full article:

Baltic Amber

 The Iron Wolf Bde forms the prime land fighting force in Lithuania.
The wolf is associated with attributes the Brigade's soldiers should seek to develop, amongst which are willpower, initiative and loyalty.
Across the Brigade's units, the Wolf's Day is celebrated on 6 June.

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