Hybrid attack response drills kicking off in southern Lithuania

A five-day hybrid attack response exercise is kicking off in southern Lithuania on Monday.

Around 600 troops from the Lithuanian Grand Duchess Birute Uhlan Battalion will take part in the tactical drills in the town and district of Alytus and around the town of Lazdijai, Lieutenant Colonel Darius Meilunas, the unit’s commander, told BNS.

“Under the scenario, states hostile to Lithuania will escalate unrest within the country, using hybrid and unconventional elements,” he told BNS.

The Strong Uhlan exercise will also involve police officers, border guards, firefighters, members of the civilian paramilitary organization Riflemen’s Union, and hospital staff.

The Lithuanian Armed Forces’ high-readiness response force comprises a total of around 2,500 troops, including two battalion combat teams and elements of air force, special forces and logistic support.

The force was created in the fall of 2014 when Russia’s actions in Ukraine led Lithuania to think about defense against unconventional attacks when no war is declared.

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