Rukla, 11 May 2017
German soldiers have once more taken part in the annual multinational Summer Shield exercise. In addition to CBRN forces, soldiers from the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania participated for the first time. The goal of this exercise was to improve cooperation between NATO nations.

(© Bundeswehr)
It was snowing as 24 German engineers drove their vehicles from Rukla in Lithuania to Latvia, heading for the Ādaži training area near Riga, which is located about 300 kilometres to the north of Rukla.

NATO specialists coming together

Specialists from several NATO countries were here for two weeks to hone their military capabilities and optimise multinational cooperation. More than 1,260 soldiers from twelve countries participated, including troops from Bulgaria, Canada, Lithuania, Slovakia and the United States.

The German soldiers demonstrated their skills as part of the exercise for seven days. The main focus was cooperation at the tactical level.

(© Bundeswehr)

Exercise with two phases

The engineers practised removing obstacles and establishing access. “Another important focus of the exercise is route clearance,” explained Captain Michael K. of 4 Armoured Engineer Battalion from Bogen.

Route clearance means detecting and clearing ordnance and remote-detonation booby traps, to keep march routes and axes of movement clear. “This exercise is a good opportunity for us to exchange views with our counterparts from Latvia, the United States and Bulgaria and practise important engineering procedures,” Captain K. added.

During the exercise’s second phase, the Ādaži training area became the setting of delaying combat. A positive assessment

A positive assessment

After the conclusion of Summer Shield, platoon leader First Lieutenant Benjamin K. gave a positive assessment: “This exercise was an excellent opportunity to establish international contacts and work together with soldiers from other NATO nations. Getting to know and talking to them is always very interesting and exciting.”

This is the translation of an article by Elisabeth Rabe published on

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