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    Soldiers from NATO countries attend an opening ceremony of military exercise 'Saber Strike 2015', at the Gaiziunu Training Range in Pabrade some 60km.(38 miles) north of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, June 8, 2015

    US Military Says NATO Drills Involving Russian Extras Not Mission Rehearsals

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    Upcoming NATO exercises apparently involving Russian-speaking extras are not rehearsals for specific missions, a representative of US forces in Germany told Sputnik on Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the German Optronic HR company confirmed posting numerous job ads offering Russian speaking extras a daily 88-120 euros ($94-$129) for pretending to be farmers, shop owners and other improvised local residents in fictitious villages that were set up at the Hohenfels training grounds for upcoming NATO drills due to take place on April 28-May 15.

    "These scenarios are not mission rehearsal exercises, but at their core designed to ensure our that U.S. Soldiers and our allies and partners are prepared to do their jobs across the range of problems they might face anywhere in world," 7th Army Training Command representative Christian Marquardt said.

    The purpose of the drills is to train personnel to communicate with civilians from different countries while executing various core tasks, he added.

    The relevant job ad is still up on the Optronic HR website us-statisten.de and states that the extras will represent the local population of a crisis-hit region in order for NATO troops to prepare for missions abroad. The extras are expected to have a basic knowledge of English, German, Polish or Czech aside from Russian. They will wear infrared detectors to determine if they would have been hit by soldiers on battlefield.

    Commentators said the setting for the drills indicated preparations for offensive rather than defensive operations.

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