Ādaži, Latvia – Professional militaries train, rehearse, and continually strive to build on existing capacity – a sentiment held in high regard by the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia (eFP BG LVA).
Since rotation 20-01 took over, this multinational Battle Group has been at a figurative hard run, working in direct support of the Latvian Mechanized Infantry Brigade.
A variety of training events have already been completed, aimed at increasing the existing high standard of interoperability and integration between the nine NATO member countries that make up the eFP BG LVA.
Each contributing nation adds their own particular capability. The Battle Group has most recently completed Exercise STEELE QUENCH – this scenario-based rehearsal was designed to immediately increase readiness; including preparation for deployment and the staging of resources.
"Within this scenario, we rapidly deployed the Battle Group, dispersed forces throughout the Ādaži training area, and secured tactically important positions," said Major James Anderson, Chief of Staff for the eFP BG LVA. "Engineer and Fires plans were established in a comprehensive manner in full coordination with our Latvian Allies. Our mission here is to deter and if necessary defend this area from any possible aggressive action. These rehearsals are how we keep the soldiers that make up this Battle Group sharp and at the highest level of readiness"
During STEELE QUENCH, Intelligence, Surveillance, target acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) was coordinated through Canadian and Albanian elements, while Canadian, Polish, Italian, Slovakian, and Spanish infantry and armour delayed, contained, and finally counteracted the adversary.
Support to the fighting elements was conducted by a fully multinational combat service support company comprised of all nations deployed to the eFP BG. Fire support included M-777's, with a variety of different calibre mortars from Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, and Canada. Engineers from the Spanish contingent, and an opposing force made up of Canadian infantry and Spanish tanks contributed to the overall realism of the exercise.
STEELE QUENCH saw the employment and reinforcement of tactical movements with a near peer opposing force, cumulating in a decisive counterattack. Replenishment and support to reinforcing NATO forces were also rehearsed during this exercise.
The next bound for the eFP BG LVA is the confirmatory exercise, CRYSTAL ARROW, followed by further participation in various NATO-led rehearsals around the Baltic.