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Oct 10 2023

Exercise Rising Bull demonstrates cohesion of NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania

PABRADE, Lithuania – On October 1, NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Lithuania concluded exercise Rising Bull. During a two-week training, NATO Allies practised defensive and offensive operations, installed engineering obstacles, and conducted live fire exercises.

Large convoys on the road, mortars shooting, big, armoured vehicles moving fast and infantrymen showing off their boots-on-the-ground-skills: the soldiers of the eFP Battlegroup impressively showed their combat readiness during the past weeks. "The main goal of the exercise was to certify that all the contributing eFP nations can conduct a life fire exercise on a company level," says Lieutenant Colonel Pieter Zuur, Deputy Commander of the eFP Battlegroup. "I am mostly positive about the way engineering and artillery platoons integrated into the bigger picture."

Dutch CV90 and Boxer vehicles drive through a training ground during exercise Rising Bull © NATO eFP Battlegroup Lithuania

In order to improve interoperability, all eFP nations worked closely together and learned from one another. "During the ‘key leader trainings’ we verified, if we are all conducting our procedures according to directives stated in the NATO doctrines. Thanks to mutual feedback, we could adapt and enhance our procedures," explains Lieutenant Colonel Zuur. "In addition, our eFP medics and logistical units were not attached to their own nations," he elaborates on the topic of working together. "They were true multinational assets and were deployed when and where necessary."

"All nations made progress during the exercise," the Deputy Commander concludes. "We observed a lot of similarities amongst nations, as well as growth opportunities. Besides, the training area in Pabrade offers the best conditions to further optimise our battle procedures." The Battlegroup is currently preparing for the upcoming exercise Iron Wolf, during which it will work on a battalion level and closely cooperate with the Lithuanian Armed Forces.

LTC Pieter Zuur (Deputy Commander eFP Battlegroup Lithuania) observes the Belgian
contingent presenting their skills during their key leader training © NATO eFP Battlegroup Lithuania
A German Army Leopard II Main Battle Tank sends rounds over the horizon © NATO eFP Battlegroup Lithuania

Norwegian reconnaissance soldiers perform tactical tasks on their quad bikes aka all-terrain vehicles © NATO eFP Battlegroup Lithuanias

Six NATO Allies currently provide troops for the multinational Battlegroup: Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, and Norway. They are stationed in Lithuania as part of NATO's enhanced Forward Presence mission to strengthen the Alliance's northeastern flank.

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office, courtesy of 1LT Kerlijn Puttemans, NATO eFP Battlegroup Lithuania

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