As the Baltic states, in concert with NATO, wraps up its previous cycle of military exercises close to Russia’s borders, the alliance has kicked off its so-called Saber Strike 17 drills in multiple locations throughout Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
Leaders of the NATO military bloc agreed to deploy four multinational battalions to Poland as well as to Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia last July, with the declared goal of deterring potential “Russian aggression.”
Now, all four newly created battle groups will take part in the 4-week-long drills (May 28-June 24), to strengthen cooperation amongst the United States military and 19 other nations taking part in the exercise.
The large-scale exercise will include amphibious assault drills in Latvia, live fire exercises in Poland and Lithuania, and an air assault coupled with a river crossing by the British Royal Marines at the Poland-Lithuania border.
The Saber Strike drills began the same week as some Baltic states wrapped up their previous military training with NATO allies.
In Poland on Friday, the international NATO combat group finished the ‘Puma 17’ drills near the northeastern town of Orzysz. About 2,500 troops, including a NATO battalion, took part in the military exercises which practiced engaging in a so-called “hybrid war” scenario to deter the omnipresent ‘Russian threat.’