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    Michigan National Guard participates in international training exercise

    Michigan National Guard participates in international training exercise

    Photo By Angela Simpson | National flags from Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Norway, the United Kingdom,...... read more read more



    Story by Angela Simpson 

    Joint Force Headquarters, Michigan National Guard

    ADAZI, Latvia – Michigan National Guard Soldiers, Airmen and public affairs staff traveled to Latvia last week to participate in Saber Strike 15, a U.S. Army Europe-led cooperative training exercise that began in 2010. The 2015 iteration spans four nations (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland), engaging more than 6,000 participants from 13 different nations. The exercise began May 31, 2015 and is scheduled for completion June 19, 2015.

    United States engagement in exercises like Saber Strike serves to facilitate cooperation and improve joint operational capabilities between the U.S., Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. Together, Baltic Nation exercises like Saber Strike and Operation Atlantic Resolve (an extended presence of the Army in the Baltics) better prepare participating nations and units to support multinational contingency operations. Saber Strike trains participants on command and control, and interoperability with regional partners. It is comprised of a brigade-level Command Post Exercise/Computer Assisted Exercise, as well as battalion-level field and situational training exercises. Saber Strike 15 also features the integration of U.S. close air support with partner nation ground forces, and a demonstration of U.S. air deployment of forces and equipment. All activities feature joint, multi-national training crossing language and procedural territory adding to the complexity, and usefulness, of the exercise.

    The Michigan National Guard has been a regular participant in the exercise, stemming in part from their State Partnership with Latvia which began in 1993. “We’ve been training together for more than 20 years,” said Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “This is more than a partnership,” he continued. “The Latvians are part of our family. An attack on them is an attack on us. We will respond immediately to acts of aggression against our partner nation or any other NATO nation. We’re doing everything we can to support U.S. Army Europe and the U.S. European Command. A persistent presence in the region is an effective way to preserve peace and stability.”

    Vadnais confirmed Michigan National Guard participation in future Saber Strike exercises and other efforts to strengthen the region.



    Date Taken: 06.09.2015
    Date Posted: 06.10.2015 09:56
    Story ID: 166072
    Location: LANSING, MI, US 
    Hometown: CLIMAX, MI, US
    Hometown: FLINT, MI, US
    Hometown: GRAND RAPIDS, MI, US
    Hometown: LANSING, MI, US

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