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Over 1,200 troops are expected to take part in the Summer Shield XVI multinational military training exercise, which from April 17 to 30 will be held in Adazi Training Area and adjacent territories, the Latvian Defense Ministry said April 13.
The annual drills will assemble more than 1,200 soldiers from Latvia, the U.S., Bulgaria, Estonia, Canada, Lithuania, the UK, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovakia, Germany and Sweden, providing the troops with an opportunity to hone their skills in a multinational environment.
During this year’s exercise the soldiers will be practicing a broad range of combat support elements: artillery, air-defense, reconnaissance, defense against weapons of mass destruction, support of combat and construction engineers and anti-tank capabilities.
Also involved in the exercise will be joint fire observers and close air support controllers, as well as a medical company and transportation units.
The annual Summer Shield exercise has taken place in Latvia since 2004. Originally, its purpose was to prepare solders for participation in the coalition forces’ operation in Iraq.
Since 2014, this training event is included in the NATO exercises and training list though non-NATO members such as Sweden this year can also participate.
Last year’s Summer Shield exercise was held with the participation of more than 1,300 soldiers.
Latvia's armed forces are reminding the public that access to the area around Adazi base will be strictly controlled and only people with a special permit to do so will be allowed in. In addition, residents can expect increased air activity and land and air forces coordinate their efforts.