In June, soldiers with NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group Lithuania mastered their marksmanship skills during a friendly competition. The event culminated with the selection of the best infantry team and the best shooters. The Best Infantry Squad competition was held in Lithuania, near the town of Rukla. The annual tactical competition was organized by the Lithuanian Armed Forces and included live-firing elements. Here, too, the goal was not only to select the best team, but to further the exchange of experience between the different national and international units. Two teams of eFP Battle Group Lithuania took part in the competition, among them a German team.
The teams consisted of seven individuals: a team leader, a deputy team leader, a medic, two machine gunners and another two infantry soldiers. The soldiers were equipped with full combat gear, weapons and 150 rounds of ammunition as well as with a machine gun plus 120 rounds of ammunition. In addition to crossing bodies of water, the soldiers faced typical infantry tasks. This included a map-and-compass orientation march, engaging in a firefight, camouflaging, knot-tying techniques, radio communication, the relaying of information without the use of radios and different aspects of first aid. The goal was for the teams to complete a task within the defined time limit. The teams must have arrived at the pre-defined location within the time range allotted for the task.
If a team was late or required more time, this time would be taken off the overall time allotted and the team would receive fewer points. Whoever earned the most points would be declared Best Infantry Squad. This year, a team from Lithuania topped the overall ranking. For the eFP Battle Group, Belgium came in second and won the best-shooter and best-team-leader categories. Shortly after the selection of the best infantry teams, the snipers showcased their skills. During the Snipers’ Fest competition, the best team consisting of a shooter and a spotter was selected. The competition was held at the Gaiziunai military training area near Rukla where the contestants fired rifles with a calibre of 5.45 mm to 8.6 mm.
Here, too, the goal was to learn from the other teams and not just to select the best shooter. The comparison of the different approaches often provides valuable insights and may even help to improve skills. The shooting competition itself was spread out over two days and took place at different ranges and at different distances. As the best team, the Norwegian Scout Snipers were able to win all categories for the eFP. All these competitions have one thing in common: They further the spirit of multinationality. Across all disciplines, the soldiers try to learn from each other, to experience the diversity of the Battle Groups and to mitigate and to use diversity as a tool to build strength in support of the common objectives.