The largest military drills in Latvia’s history – Namejs 2018 – will be taking place in the country from 20 August to 2 September. The goal of this military exercise is to test and improve the country’s National Armed Forces’ readiness to defend the country on their own and as part of a collective defence system, Defence Ministry says.
«After four years of intense preparations, this will be the largest military exercise in Latvia’s history since the restoration of independence. It will help test the armed forces’ ability to defend Latvia from any type of threat. These exercises present an opportunity to not only train National Armed Forces, but also test Latvia’s defensive capabilities, because exercises will be attended by our partners,» says commander of Latvia’s National Armed Forces Lieutenant General Leonīds Kalniņš.
There will be more than 10,000 participants – Latvian and allied troops, National Guard, reserve soldiers, volunteer reservists, Defence Ministry’s workers and personnel from Interior Affairs Ministry’s structures (police officers and state border guard).
The ministry notes that the active phase of exercises will take place at Ādaž military fieldi, as well as 36 of Latvia’s counties: Aknīste, Alūksne, Ape, Ādaži, Baldone, Daugavpils, Garkalne, Grobiņi, Gulbene, Iecava, Ilūkste, Jelgava, Jēkabpils, Līvāni, Krustpils, Kuldīga, Ķegums, Ķekava, Nereta, Nīca, Mārupe, Olaine, Ozolnieki, Priekule, Rēzekne, Sala, Salaspils, Saldus, Skrunda, Smiltene, Stopiņi, Vaiņode, Vārkava, Vecumnieki, Viesīte, Viļaka. The majority of military activities will be felt by residents in Rīga, Liepāja, Valmiera, Ventspils, Jēkabpils and Daugavpils. All military exercises have been coordinated with land owners in advance.
As intensive military exercises continue taking place in Latvia and other Baltic States, authorities warn residents that they may see military vehicles moving on Latvia’s roads and military helicopters may be seen flying through the air every now every now and then.