Five soldiers serving in a reconnaissance unit were declared missing during a military exercise on February 4–6. Believing the drill was still in progress, they evaded all forces sent to find them.
Lithuanian Military spokesperson Laimis Bratikas told BNS that during a graduation exam for reconaissance troops in central Lithuania, five soldiers – including conscripts – serving in the Žemaitija Motorised Infantry Brigade were declared missing after failing to show up at a pre-defined location.
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The military decided “to initiate a search for the soldiers, suspecting that something unplanned had happened,” said Bratikas.
Thinking the exercise was still on, the 'missing' soldiers evaded capture by trained dogs and at one point, a helicopter.
They “moved in a forest avoiding contact and without being detected” for 24 hours, said Bratikas. “Military scout training is special, as they are prepped to accomplish their task by staying undetected – in this case, they acted that way until the very end.”
Their ‘survival’ performance was rated exemplary, he added.