152 troops join NATO’s expanded combat group in Latvia

Realizing the decision made at the 2016 NATO summit in Wales regarding the deployment of a battalion-sized group in Baltic States and Poland, 152 troops from Slovakia will be deployed in Latvia in the second half of 2018, as reported by Defence Ministry.

Since November 2017, two Slovak combat coordinators have been serving in Latvia, providing support in the process of deployment of more allied forces in the country. 152 Slovak troops will be staying in Latvia as part of a mechanized infantry unit, the ministry reminds.

The defence institution also adds that the objective of NATO’s expanded presence in the Latvia is performing the alliance’s deterrence policy, boosting combat capabilities and demonstrating solidarity and readiness to defend member states from any kinds of threats. A festive welcome ceremony was held in Adazi military base on 19 June 2017.

The multinational combat group is Latvia is led by Canada. It consists of more than 1,000 troops from Albania, Italy, Poland, Canada, Slovenia and Spain. They remain in Latvia on a rotation basis, participating in regular exercises together with Latvia’s National Armed Forces to further improve cooperation with regional allies.

This year NATO’s group in Latvia will be joined by Czech troops, the ministry adds.

In 2017, a mechanized infantry unit from Slovakia was stationed in Latvia to help enhance the region’s security. During their service term in Latvia, Slovak armed forces participated alongside Latvian troops in military drills Summer Shield XIV and Saber Strike 2017.

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