Defense chief: Good local involvement in Namejs 2018 military drill

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Locals have actively participated in the Namejs 2018 military drills, informing the army over the whereabouts of "invading" soldiers as per an Armed Forces request, Latvia's top military commander Leonīds Kalniņš told LTV August 27.

During the drills in Alūksne, northeastern Latvia, locals were invited via posters to report spotting "enemy" soldiers, as performed by Estonian armed forces, and there was large local involvement. 

"We knew everything about the location of the Estonian soldiers," Kalniņš said. 

Kalniņš also said that during the drill there was positive indications over the direction the armed forces are taking and that the exercises have not revealed serious problems. 

Nevertheless he indicated that the exercise serves as a reminder that the National Armed Forces have to continue with armament upgrades and infrastructure development.

The Namejs military drills -- the greatest since Latvia regained its independence -- are held from August 20 to September 2. There are more than 10,000 participants, including Latvian and allied troops and home guards, reserve officers, volunteers, employees of the Defense Ministry, police and border guards.

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