From September 29 to October 6 the international Land Force exercise „Silver Arrow” will be conducted in Adazi Training Area. More than 2100 soldiers from Latvia, Estonia, Great Britain, Greece, Norway and U.S. “Silver Arrow” has grown from national level Land Force Infantry Brigade and National Guard exercise to multinational large scale exercise.
Latvia is not only host nation, but also leading nation for “Silver Arrow” which is one of the largest exercises in the Baltic States in 2014. It is a great responsibility to arrange such large scale exercise, also taking into account the complicated geopolitical environment which has been one of the incentives for allies and partner nations to participate in “Silver Arrow 2014”. A lot of military technique will participate in the exercise, including “CV90” from Norway, U.S. helicopters “Apache”, “Black Hawk” and “Chinook”, Estonian armored vehicles “SISU” and others.
The exercise director Latvian Land Force Infantry Brigade Commander Colonel Mārtiņš Liberts informed military news portal sargs.lv about main challenges in “Silver Arrow 2014” .
– A year ago you emphasized your satisfaction about the excellent cooperation between Land Force Infantry Brigade and National Guard in the national level exercise “Silver Arrow 2013”. This year’s exercise has grown significantly with involvement from other countries. Has the exercise changed a lot and how?
The existing geopolitical situation has made significant changes in planning and procedures of military exercises. Many countries want to participate in our exercise to express solidarity and unity with Latvians, and demonstrate their involvement in assurance measures in the region. This is one of the reasons why we will have so many participants and multinational battalions in the “Silver Arrow” – a battalion from Great Britain, company from Estonia and Norway and two companies from U.S. The exercise planning process started already last autumn, soon after the previous exercise had ended. Initially it was planned as national exercise for Land Force Infantry Brigade and National Guard units.
This will be a brand new experience for us, because we will implement in action the plans and maneuvers designed by the headquarters command and control exercise, NATO “Steadfast Jazz 2013”, which took place in Adazi Base, and the same scenario was played in the “Yellow Knight” division level exercise last year. “Silver Arrow” provides us the unique experience to exercise the same scenario in another level, in the field training exercise in multinational environment.
Soldiers during the exercise “Silver Arrow 2014” will improve their skills in conventional warfare, but in more complicated environment. With six participant countries we have to take into account that each country has its own goals, and this is yet another challenge for Land Force Infantry Battalion headquarters to integrate those aims in the scenario of the exercise. We aim to achieve even higher integration level in order for every soldier and every unit to understand their role in the operation.
The intensity of the exercise will be high with large number of participants and fire support, this is one of the largest international exercise in the Baltic region this year. There will be extensive operations with paratroopers and support from U.S. helicopters. Soldiers won’t use live ammunition, but U.S. provided MILES system which will help to simulate the real combat including evacuation of wounded soldiers and destruction of armored vehicles. U.S. will support the exercise with helicopters “Apache”, “Black Hawk” and “Chinook”, Norway will participate with armored vehicles “CV90”.
During the exercise there will be higher intensity of military transportation and helicopter flights in Adazi Training Area. During the active phase of the exercise From October 3 to 5 the active phase of the exercise will take place in Adazi which means the noise levels will be higher than usual.
- The night from Saturday to Sunday for many Latvians will be busy waiting for the results of elections of Saeima. Will the soldiers participating in the exercise be able to participate in the elections?
- We are currently addressing the situation for soldiers to vote beforehand. All Armed Force and National Guard units participating in “Silver Arrow 2014” will be able to participate in Saeima elections.
- What is your wish for participants of the exercise?
Considering the huge amount of people and technique participating in the exercise it is crucial to lead this exercise without incidents. Safety must come first. It is also important that every participant of the exercise will feel the satisfaction with their performance after “Silver Arrow 2014” is over.