Lithuanian soldiers attend the opening ceremony of Iron Sword 2016 in Pabrade, Lithuania, on Nov. 20, 2016. Multinational military exercise Iron sword 2016 kicked off in Lithuania on Sunday. (Xinhua/Alfredas Pliadis)
VILNIUS, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Multinational military exercise Iron sword 2016 kicks off in Lithuania on Sunday.
Around 4,000 troops from 11 NATO members are to conduct military training on Lithuanian soil till December 3.
According to the Lithuanian Defense Ministry, Lithuanian and allied military personnel are to plan and execute defensive and offensive operations, train tactical movement and conduct other tasks to enhance interoperability with allied forces.
Lithuanian military officials say the country's allied forces must prepare their personnel to adapt to the changing situation, as the army is to face challenges ahead that are unknown.
"A quick and efficient response to (of) all units in the area to conventional threats is one of the main objectives of the exercise," the commander of the Lithuanian Land force brigadier general Valdemaras Rupsys was quoted as saying in a press release.
Exercise Iron Sword is conducted as part of NATO Military Training and Exercise Program.
Iron sword 2016, one of the largest military drills in the Baltic states, is hosted in Lithuania for the third year, as the country pursues its efforts to strengthen military readiness and defense capabilities.