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Lithuania to direct multinational exercise that includes U.S. troops

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Sept. 8 (UPI) — Lithuania will direct and host a multinational defense exercise with military personnel from 10 countries — including the United States — this month in Lithuania, Germany and Poland.

According to U.S. Army Europe, during Tobruq Legacy 2020, U.S. and allied air defense forces will conduct on-the-move short-range air defense for Lithuanian maneuver forces and establish a multinational surface-based air defense operations cell.

The exercise, which is intended to “enhance the combined U.S. and European ability to control defensive fires in central and eastern Europe while refining tactics, techniques and procedures,” will include more than 750 personnel from 10 countries.

It will take place Sept. 12-27.

In addition to the United States, the following countries will participate: Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Poland.

Participating units from the United States include the 10th Army Air and Missile Command and the 678th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.

“The Tobruq Legacy exercise will be critical in showcasing our interoperability capabilities with our allies in the European Theater, contributing to the objectives defined by NATO in order to increase our deterrence posture while testing, confirming and validating both previous and newly-obtained capabilities, designed to enhance interoperability between U.S. Air Defense Artillery forces and partner nations’ Surface Based Air Defense units,” said Commanding General Brig. Gen. Gregory Brady, 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command.

According to U.S. Army Europe, Tobruq Legacy 2020 is “a long-planned defensive oriented exercise not tied to any current events in the region.”

Thirteen countries participated in Tobruq Legacy 2019, which included a live-fire exercise in Poland.

In mid-August the United States and Poland signed an agreement to increase the number of U.S. troops in Poland, which came amid directives to reduce the number of troops in Germany, and at the end of the month U.S. and Polish forces participated in a joint bilateral exercise.

The Army also said precautionary measures will be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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