News: Opening ceremony for Michigan Guardsmen and Latvian soldiers takes center stage at Lielvarde Air Base
Story by Sgt. Alexandria Jones
RIGA, Latvia - Michigan Army National Guard Soldiers and Latvian soldiers come together for a traditional opening ceremony that introduced the 46th Military Police Company and 55th Infantry Battalion units to one another at Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, Aug. 21, 2014.
Soldiers from the military police unit are conducting Exercise Winds of Change training mission that essentially allows the company to complete mission tasks while training with Latvian soldiers.
Capt. Brice Kerschen, the 46th MP company commander, mentioned the purpose of the ceremony was to introduce the military police company to their Latvian counterparts and provide a brief overview of the joint mission. “We are truly grateful that you let us come here to train with you,” said Kerschen as he addressed both formations during the ceremony.
After Kerschen spoke to both units, Latvian Maj. Ingus Manfelds, the commander for the 55th Infantry Battalion, thanked the company for traveling to Latvia to conduct this mission.
“I truly believe you can learn something from us and we can learn from you,” said Manfelds. “We will do our job for the best and I wish you the best for this exercise. The main thing is to reach all the goals for yourselves, your platoon and your company.”
Kerschen agreed that both militaries could learn from one another. The ceremony and physically meeting with the Latvian soldiers allowed them to come together and configure joint training operatives, which would be successful to execute in following training days.
After the commanders addressed the formation, a soldier from each unit raised the country’s flag and stood at the position of attention.
Personnel from each unit then received a Latvian logo designed folder packet with a note pad inside.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Latvian soldiers and Guardsmen were given recreational time, which they took part in team building exercises as they played a game of volleyball and competitive running drills.
The Michigan National Guard and Latvia forces are partnered together through the National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program. This is a 22-year partnership to strengthen security defense measures.
This work, Opening ceremony for Michigan Guardsmen and Latvian soldiers takes center stage at Lielvarde Air Base, by SGT Alexandria Jones, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.