Brunssum, The Netherlands – Within his first foreign trip as the Deputy Commander of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS), Lieutenant General Luis Lanchares, visited the Baltic Sea region on 14th December.
In Riga, Latvian Joint Headquarters' Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Imants Ziedins, welcomed him. Topics discussed were mainly focused on continued coordination and synchronisation with Latvian and NATO components to ensure operational effectiveness.
Additionally, General Lanchares' itinerary saw him visit the NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU), where he took the opportunity to gain colourful insights of this element. As part of NATO's adaptation to security challenges from the east and the south, the Alliance has established eight Force Integration Units in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. These units are the initial point of contact for deploying Allied Forces.
The Deputy Commander also stopped in Adazi, close to the Latvian capital, where the nation is hosting the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup. This unit is composed of the largest multinational contribution. Underlining the strong transatlantic bond, this Battlegroup is led by Canada with added elements from Albania, Czech Republic, Iceland, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
With eFP, NATO has enhanced its presence in the eastern part of the Alliance, with four multinational Battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. These Battlegroups are multinational and combat-ready, demonstrating the strength of the transatlantic bond.
General Lanchares also met with Major General Flemming Mathiasen, Commander Multinational Division North, to emphasise "NATO's commitment to high standards of unity, dedication, deterrence and collective defence", the General stated.