News: MEDIA ADVISORY: US Air Force C-130’s to land at Lielvarde Air Base for the first time
By Kristal Gault
U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa
RIGA, Latvia – On June 17, 2014, three U.S. Air Force C-130J’s from the 37th Airlift Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, will land at Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, making them the first U.S. Air Force aircraft to land at the newly renovated installation. The aircraft will bring equipment and approximately 92 Airmen from the 435th Contingency Response Group to participate in Air Force-specific training as part of Saber Strike 2014, as well as support the ground forces of the exercise with cargo drops at the Ādaži Training Area.
The 435th CRG is comprised of 42 career fields and is U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa’s only “open the air base” force, capable of establishing contingency airfield operations and initial command and control to enable global reach and power. Additionally, the 435th CRG provides theater-wide design, construction and technical assistance, as well as delivers multi-functional expeditionary force protection forces.
During this final week of Saber Strike 2014 the 435th CRG, in conjunction with the 37th AS, will train on the full capabilities to open the air base at Lielvarde. They will provide airfield operations, command and control of air and space forces, weather support, protection of operational forces, aircraft maintenance and aerial port services.
In preparation for the main body arrival, the 37th AS performed an aerial drop of 28 435th CRG Airmen and equipment at Lielvarde Air Base on June 16. This team of paratroopers along with a select few CRG members already in country performed airfield surveys to ensure safe arrival of the main body of aircraft and personnel.
Exercising these unique capabilities at Lielvarde Air Base provides the opportunity to develop the skills required to open the base and receive aircraft. Conducting this exercise with Latvian partners also represents a step toward further development of the air base’s infrastructure and operations.
Members of the media are invited to watch the C-130J aircraft arrive at Lielvarde Air Base on June 17 followed by an opportunity to interview the pilots landing the first U.S. aircraft at the installation and representatives from the 435th CRG. Transportation to the air base will depart the Ministry of Defense, Riga, Latvia, at 10 a.m. for an 11:30 a.m. arrival at Lielvarde Air Base.
Interested media should contact Daina Ozolina, Latvian Military Public Affairs, at +371 67335224 or +371 26174707, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send Ms. Ozolina the following credentialing information by 8 p.m. Eastern European Time on June 16: name, surname, personal identification number, affiliation, email, and press card number (if applicable), as well as vehicle information if arriving by private transport. All attendees must have valid identification to access the installation.
Media organizations interested in additional U.S. Air Force participation in Saber Strike 2014 should contact USAFE-AFAFRICA Public Affairs at +49 162-425-5428 or email@example.com.