Latvia launched the international military exercises Operation Summer Shield XI. More than 600 soldiers from Latvia, Estonia and the USA take part in the training. According to the Ministry of Defense of Latvia, these annual exercises are held for the 11 time already. Their task is to work out fire support in the onset of infantry, Delfi reports. Also, units will be trained in the use of combat support elements in operations with overcoming obstacles, ITAR-TASS reports.
In addition to the representatives of the National Guard of Michigan, who have been participating in these exercises since their very beginning, this year from the American side, they were joined by about a hundred American military personnel from the Black Sea rotational forces. For the first time, 150 soldiers of an artillery battalion from Estonia take part in the training. The servicemen from neighboring Lithuania act as observers at the exercises, assessing the possibilities to also become their participants in the near future.
The host country declared training for its soldiers as part of 350 exercises. Among them are infantry, representatives of mortar, anti-tank, reconnaissance, engineering units and units of air support controllers, as well as a group of sappers, reports Melkon.
The exercises will be held in two stages: theoretical and practical training will be held from 7 to 11 on April, and testing of tactical tasks and live firing with the participation of the MI-12 helicopter and the Estonian Air Force L-16 at Adazi military polygon. This site is located near the Gulf of Riga, about 17 km from Riga and less than 39 km from the Russian border.
The commander of the military teachings Gunārs Kaulins said that the number of exercises for the soldiers had increased significantly, compared with previous years. According to him, the participants have a "unique opportunity" to share experience and knowledge, to learn from each other.
The representative of the Bureau of bilateral cooperation in the field of defense of the US Embassy in Latvia, Colonel-Lieutenant James Andrew Roberts, in turn, expressed satisfaction that the NATO partners are conducting exercises together. "The US Army appreciates the opportunity to work with partner countries. In the modern world there are many different threats, and only partnership provides an opportunity to cope with these threats," the American soldier Tēvijas sargs quotes.
Earlier, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called on members of the alliance to pay more attention and allocate more finance for the development of defense.