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Lithuania is prepared for NATO’s major communications units exercise, Vice Minister of National Defence E. Kerza says


“Lithuania greatly appreciates the decision to hold one of NATO’s major communications units exercise Steadfast Cobalt in Lithuania after several years again.” Vice Minister of National Defence Edvinas Kerza said at the press conference for Exercise Steadfast Cobalt in Kaunas on May 16.


In the run-up for one of NATO’s major communications units exercise Steadfast Cobalt 2017 due to take place on May 21-April 2 in the territory of Vytautas the Great Jaeger Battalion, Deputy Chief of Staff CIS and Cyber Defence at SHAPE Major General Walter Huhn and deputy mayor of Kaunas Simonas Kairys arrived to meet with soldiers deployed to take part in the exercise.


According to Defence Vice Minister E.Kerza, the exercise is of key importance because without the work done by the Alliance’s communications and cyber defence experts to ensure a secure connection and data exchange wherever the rapidly deployable NATO forces need it, no multinational NATO operation or other military task could be a success.


Major General W. Huhn underscored that the annual exercise Steadfast Cobalt is defensive in character, and trains capabilities of communications units and evaluates units of deployable Alliance communications systems that ensure successful operation of the NATO Response Force and other headquarters in any part of the world at particularly short notice.


Deputy mayor of Kaunas Simonas Kairys expressed his appreciation of the fact that the exercise is held in Kaunas and stressed that the authorities and business sector of Kaunas continue the cooperation with the Lithuanian Armed Forces and provide the services and logistical support necessary for the exercise.


NATO communications units Exercise Steadfast Cobalt 2017


On May 21-June 2 NATO exercise Steadfast Cobalt annually organised by the NATO Signal Battalion will take place in Lithuania.


The exercise will involve roughly 1000 NATO soldiers from over 40 different units of 25 NATO allies. The training event will put to test the ability of NATO communications units to ensure information exchange and communication among combat units of the NATO Response Force, joint and component headquarters worldwide.


The exercise command and control centre with infrastructure has been deployed to Vytautas the Great Jaeger Battalion in Panemunė. Participants of the exercise will use various cutting-edge technologies during the exercise.


The Lithuanian Armed Forces and Kaunas city council are responsible for providing host nation support for the exercise. The deploying allied forces receive necessary services: access to both, civilian and military facilities, communications and information technology, lodging, meals, medical, and other services.


This is the second time Exercise Steadfast Cobalt is held in Lithuania. In 2014 this NATO Response Force exercise took place at Division General Stasys Raštikis Lithuanian Armed Forces School in Kaunas. Last year the exercise was held in Romania.


Lithuania will be represented in the exercise by soldiers of the Deployable Communications and Information Systems Module of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas Headquarters Battalion. The DCISM is the first unit of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and NATO permanently operating on the territory of Lithuania to carry out tasks of the NATO Communication and Information Systems Group. The exercise site will be protected and support provided by soldiers with other units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.



NATO Communication and Information Systems Group


NATO Communication and Information Systems Group (NCISG) is a structural unit of NATO’s operational capabilities. It is responsible for providing command and control to the NATO Response Force in operations worldwide. It is a unit of the most cutting-edge information exchange and technologies manned by top qualification subject matter experts and officers.


NATO Response Force


NATO Response Force (NRF) is a high readiness technologically advanced multinational NATO force, one the Alliance’s cornerstone military instruments. NRF comprises military units assigned by NATO allies that are held on standby in their home countries to be ready to deploy within a set time to the area of operation in case a decision to deploy NRF was taken. And in such a case, NRF deploys within 5 days.


Photo credits: Alfredas Pliadis (MoD)

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