US led air defense exercise “Rapid Forge” starts in Baltics

On 16th July U. S. Air Force aircrafts F-15E and C-130 landed at the Siauliai Air Base Lithuanian Air Force Base in Šiauliai to take part in the U.S. led Operation Rapid Forge, regional air defense exercise.

“Exercise Rapid Forge sends a strong signal of commitment of the US to defend Baltic States and Lithuania in increasingly complex security environment”, acting Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis says.

Rapid Forge is a joint exercise to include elements like air-to-air battle, suppression of enemy air defenses, air to ground engagements, aircraft support operations, ground-based air defense, Host Nation Support, civil-military air space control, and other tasks.

“In case of crisis, air forces of Allies  and NATO could be the fastest to respond and provide rapid reinforcement. Exercise such as Rapid Forge enhances our interoperability and readiness to respond to any threat or crisis”, R. Karoblis says.

During this exercise Lithuanian Armed Forces will be ensuring ground-based air defence, tactical air control, location of ground-based targets. The exercise tasks will be executed in the Lithuanian airspace and Kazlų Rūda Training Area, and all necessary support will be available at Šiauliai Air Base. On the particular days a part of Lithuanian air space will be closed for the purpose of the exercise.

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