Located in the Baltic Sea region, Lithuania has long and cold winters with temperatures averaging -10°C, and in extreme cases plummeting as low as -40°C. Therefore, it is very important for the deployed soldiers to know how to survive outdoors if need be, while remaining combat ready. This is why all combat companies of the Battlegroup have to undergo a hands-on cold weather training.
The recent course was conducted by the Norwegian soldiers with NATO eFP Battlegroup Lithuania. The Norwegian Armed Forces comprise some of the best winter survival experts, many of whom hold the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Instructor certificates, and completed the Norwegian Winter Warfare Course. Alongside the eFP service members, the Panevėžys-based event saw the Allies from the Lithuanian Army's King Mindaugas Mechanised Infantry Battalion (Karaliaus Mindaugo mechanizuotasis pėstininkų batalionas).
Going on for a full 24 hours, the course was executed in both day and night conditions. Among many life-saving skills, the participants mastered their ability to start a fire, put up a shelter, collect and purify water for cooking and drinking, prepare food, and act promptly if falling through the ice.