Lithuania's rapid deployment forces and NATO's air police mission based in Lithuania were on maximum combat readiness when the Russian military was holding large-scale maneuvers, the baltnews.lt website reported on Monday, citing the Lithuanian Defense Ministry's press service.
"Other units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces - the officers and personnel - were on high alert at their bases, while military hardware was within 60-minute readiness for a march," says a posting on the baltnews.lt website.
The Russian Defense Ministry earlier reported that a large-scale military exercise ended in Russia's European part on Saturday as part of a snap inspection of the Northern Fleet, the Western Military District and the Airborne Forces.
The exercise had been ordered by Russia's president and supreme commander-in-chief, Vladimir Putin, and aimed to check the Northern Fleet's combat readiness and to explore the possibility of enlarging the contingent in the Arctic region by sending out troops from the central regions tasked to operate in complicated climatic conditions.
The snap inspection covered about 765,000 servicemen, over 10,000 armored vehicles, 65 warships, 16 logistics vessels, 15 submarines and more than 200 aircraft, including helicopters, said Russian Defense Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu.
Lithuanian Armed Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Jonas-Vytautas Zukas said that, the drill in the Kaliningrad region involved more forces than the size of the three Baltic armies combined. "However, we are determined to provide an adequate response to the aggressor, if the aggressor violates the Lithuanian border," the general, said, according to baltnews.lt.
The Lithuanian Defense Ministry said that Lithuania's rapid deployment forces and special task contingents are about 2,500 men strong. The Lithuanian Air Force has ten aircraft. There are no tank or special units in the Lithuanian armed forces, and there are no large-caliber artillery systems, either. The air defense forces have Polish Grom systems in their arsenals.
The large-scale military drills held in the European part of Russia are ending on Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry said
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