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U.S., Lithuanian troops conduct Savage Wolf exercise

By Ryan Maass
U.S., Lithuanian troops conduct Savage Wolf exercise
Soldiers from the United States and Lithuania conducted Savage Wolf as part of NATO's Atlantic Resolve program. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jill People

April 5 (UPI) -- U.S. Army troops recently partnered with Lithuanian soldiers for military exercise Savage Wolf, part of an effort to demonstrate NATO power in the region.

During the exercise, troops from each side simulated battle tactics while competing for the dominance of an airfield. A Lithuanian platoon took offensive action while a U.S. tank platoon attempted to deny their advance.

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Participants say the event was helpful for learning how to coordinate various assets during a battle.

"Sometimes we think we can do everything on our own, from both sides actually," 1st Lt. Rutkauskas said in a press release. "From the tank sides, from our infantry sides, but when we are working together we see that we can still have areas to go and work on."

In addition to bolstering combat capabilities, Savage Wolf was conducted with the aim of allowing Lithuanian forces to integrate platoons into the company level. In turn, U.S. forces learned to integrate their own equipment into the Lithuanian defense plan.

"It's beneficial for us to get more experience," Rutkauskas added. "We are exchanging information, we are learning from each other something new all the time."

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Savage Wolf was performed as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a NATO program implemented in the wake of Russia's intervention in Ukraine in 2014. The effort aims to prepare allied forces for combat in the region as well as demonstrate U.S. commitment to regional stability.

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