Brunssum, the Netherlands - With the focus on defensive operations, the multinational enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Latvia (eFP BG LVA) has been certified as fully interoperable and combat effective after completing all training requirements, culminating with its Certification Exercise (CERTEX) held at Camp Ādaži, Latvia, from 21 to 27 August 21 2017.
The milestone was reached after a week of collective training and was confirmed by Brigadier General Trevor Cadieu, Commander 3rd Canadian Division, who certified that the eFP BG LVA meets NATO's strategic directives, and is interoperable and combat effective.
Since the deployment of the battlegroup in Latvia in June 2017, the six contributing nations from Albania, Canada, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Spain, have been conducting smaller training events aimed at interoperability and cohesion. Although each national contingent certified separately before arriving in Latvia, this was first the collective exercise operating as a battlegroup.
At the conclusion of CERTEX, Brig. Gen. Cadieu remarked that "NATO's multinational battlegroup is prepared to conduct full spectrum operations in support of the national home defence forces of Latvia, as part of NATO's deterrence and defence posture."
Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Wade Rutland, the eFP battlegroup demonstrated its cohesiveness, interoperability, and combat capabilities. Using a combination of troop manoeuvres and simulation, the soldiers were challenged and tested with a variety of realistic scenarios, with the Latvian Land Forces Infantry Brigade acting as opposition forces.
When asked about the next steps for the battlegroup, Lt. Col. Rutland said that "we will continue to enhance our interoperability as part of the Latvian Land Forces Infantry Brigade to fine-tune our defensive operations and sharpen our skills, which is our focus of our presence here in Latvia."
The eFP Battlegroup in Latvia joins the three other NATO battlegroups situated in Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland in providing the balanced and proportionate response measures required in light of the evolving security environment.
Story by Sub-Lieutenant Melanie Aqiqi,
Task Force Latvia Public Affairs