Riga, Latvia - On 21 April Commander JFC Brunssum, General Salvatore Farina, visited Latvia in order to meet with the Latvian Secretary of State for Defence, Mr. Janis Garisons, and the Latvian Chief of Defence, Major General Leonids Kalnins.
The meetings took place at the Latvian Ministry of Defence in Riga and focused on the contribution of the Latvian Armed forces to NATO operations and mission with special regard to NATO's enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) and the upcoming deployment of the multinational battlegroup to Adazi in June.
According to Mr Garisons the deployment of the eFP Battle Group represents a major step forward in safeguarding Latvia and its establishment, scheduled for June, will represent a significant milestone. General Farina emphasized how the process leading to full operational capability of the battlegroup will be enabled with efforts of all stakeholders in the fields of awareness, knowledge, coordination and infrastructures.
The following meeting with the recently appointed Chief of Defence, Major General Leonids Kalnins, focused on an update on the status of the Latvian Armed Forces. Major General Kalnins underlined the importance of the presence of the eFP Battle Group on Latvian soil and emphasized the importance of the full integration of the unit, which comprises contributions from six NATO nations, with the Latvian Army Brigade.
On completion of the visit General Farina was also provided an update on the NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) based in Riga, which is fulfilling its tasks as the NATO in-place facilitator for all NATO-related activities and communications.
Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office