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Lithuanian Armed Forces exercises ‘Lightning Strike 2017‘moves to Marijampolė and Vilkaviškis, Rapid Reaction Forces comes to the cities


On 1st May soldiers from Rapid Reaction Forces Grand Duchess Birutė uhlan Battalion came to Marijampolė, while troops from Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion were dislocated in Vilkaviškis.

Since yesterday, both cities and the surrounding area residents are able to see armed soldiers and military equipment. According to the exercise scenario, hostile forces held activities in the cities, unidentified groups disturb urban activities by occupying major cities objects and pose a serious threat to people's safety. Both cities according to the scenario are declared to be military territories, in which Lithuanian army Rapid Reaction Forces will be operating.

One of the major Lithuanian Armed Forces national exercises this year ‘Lightning Strike 2017' are taking place from 28th April until 7th May. There are training Peacetime Operation Forces and Rapid Reaction Forces with their supporting units in the case of hybrid threats. Exercises also aims that national forces would be ready for unconventional challenges and act independently for some time, until allied support would reach the country.

During the long weekend, 29th April - 1st May, in the exercises ‘Lightning Strike 2017' Peacetime Operation Forces was training with the State Border Guard Service (SBGS) in the regions of territorial units of Vilnius and Varėna situated near border with Russia and Belarus.

Attention for Vilkaviškis and Marijampolė urban residents

In the upcoming days residents will be seeing patrolling armed Lithuanian Armed Forces soldiers with military equipment, Air Force helicopters, training pyrotechnics and blank ammunition.

In the course of the exercises only simulation ammunition, smoke and explosive packages will be used. This equipment only simulates battle conditions, therefore in accordance with the precautions, this equipment is not life-threatening. The locations of the exercises, where active actions will be conducted, will be maximally protected. Residents will be separately warned to comply with safe distance - it is recommended not to go closer than 30 meters.

Various injuries of soldiers and others will be imitated by applying special tools, therefore opened bone fractures, gunshot wounds etc. will look very realistic.

More about the exercises:


Rapid Reaction Forces

Since 1st November, 2014 Lithuanian military Rapid Reaction Forces are ready to respond any type of threat for the national security. These forces are composed of two battalion size battle groups, formed of Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion and Grand Duchess Birutė uhlan Battalion as well as Air and Special forces, Military Police, artillery, logistical and medical support units. Rapid Reaction Forces are prepared to operate within 2 hours after receiving the order.

Information for media

Media representatives who are willing to prepare material about the exercises are invited to register to public relations officer captain Tomas Pakalniškis (email: [email protected], tel.: +370 657 61271).

Media representatives must have identity document and document (card) proving representation of media sort. Freelance journalists, and individuals preparing public information without contract with the media, as well as foreign journalists representing media must have accreditation issued by the Ministry of National Defence.

Photos by sergeant major Lina Ambroževičiūtė



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