This weekend 37th Mechanized Infantry Brigade of the Bundeswehr with infantry fighting vehicles “Marder” from Sachsen has arrived in Latvia. Soldiers will stay till the middle of November in order to participate in training and military exercises together with Latvians and soldiers from other allied countries. Unit left for Latvia on September 28.
More than 35 track and wheel vehicles, as well as containers with equipment were delivered from Germany to Latvia via railway and unloaded in Garkalne railway station.
On October 4 vehicles were transported to Camp Ādaži by executing the first Movement control exercise. During this exercise civil-military cooperation skills were tested involving cooperation with Ādaži municipality, JCC “Latvijas Valsts ceļi” and “Rīgas meži”, Ltd.
Near municipality, inhabitants and visitors of Ādaži observed vehicles in static display and met German soldiers.
“I am content about the arrival of German soldiers in Latvia,” said Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube. “Arrival of those vehicles from Germany to Latvia via railway and motor roads is great opportunity to test the host nation support which is very important capability for Latvia. It gives the opportunity to prove that Allies can move freely withing the borders of Alliance,” accentuated the Chief of Defence.
The German Persistent Presence Forces in Latvia are on a three month rotational deployment in 2015. They split into an airfield protection company, deployed between 15th August – 30th September and a mechanized infantry company, deployed between 30th September – 15th November 2015.
“Since crisis in Ukraine, NATO and our allies take active part in strengthening their presence in Latvia. Presence of allied forces is important, lasting and obvious. It is aimed to deter potential aggressor,” noted the Minister of Defence Raimonds Bergmanis. “We must understand that presence of allied forces in Latvia is not self-evident and we must invest in our security.”
German soldiers have already participated in joint military trainings and exercises with soldiers from Latvia and other allied countries. Airfield protection company of the German Air Forces and Chemical, Radiological, Biological, and Nuclear protection unit, as well as soldiers of Military Police participated in the international military exercise “Silver Arrow” from September 14 till September 29 in Ādaži Training Area.
During the visit in Latvia on April 14 Minister of Defence of Germany Ursula fon der Leyen and Minister of Defence Raimonds Vējonis discussed security situation in region and necessity to ensure persistant presence of allied forces in the Baltic States. Minister of Defence of Germany confirmed that Germany is ready to send soldiers for various trainings and military exercises already this year.