Namejs 2018 military exercise underway

Namejs 2018, the largest military training exercise since the restoration of independence is getting under way in Latvia on August 20, LETA was told at the press office of the Defense Ministry.

“After four years of intensive preparations, this will be the largest military training exercise since the restoration of Latvia’s independence in which we will be test the armed forces’ readiness to defend Latvia from any threats. This exercise is the opportunity to train not only the National Armed Forces but also Latvia’s overall defense capabilities as our partners are involved in the drills as well,” said the Latvian Chief of Defense, Lieutenant General Leonids Kalnins.

The more than 10,000 people participating in the exercise include Latvian and allied troops and home guards, reserve officers, volunteers, employees of the Defense Ministry, police and border guards.

The active phase of the training exercise will take place not only at the Adazi training grounds but also in other regional military facilities, as well as at least 36 regions of Latvia. Agreements have been concluded with a high number of private individuals on the use of infrastructure and territories for the drills. Construction firms will contribute equipment like bulldozers.

One of the several scenarios that will be played out during Namejs 2018 provides for suppressing spontaneous riots in Jekabpils and Valmiera. The unrest would be fomented by armed people without military insignia. Law enforcement authorities would be the first to respond to these events, with the armed forces expected to rush to help quell the riots.

“During the exercise we will be training to defend our state using obstruction and defense operations. All brigades will be involved in relocation and ensuring the local defense of particular cities. The national defense structure will be tested one hundred percent. We will not be devising a scenario against a particular country as we are preparing the National Armed Forces to defend Latvia against any threat,” Lt. Gen. Kalnins said.

Meanwhile Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis told LTV that government institutions, businesses and volunteers are also to be involved in the exercise.

As reported, Latvia's Namejs 2018 drills will also see the military tackle civil unrest scenarios, including troop deployment to counter "spontaneous unrest" among the populations in Valmiera and Jēkabpils. 

The Namejs exercise will be held in all Latvia from August 20 to September 2 with the participation of Latvian soldiers, home guards, reserve troops, law enforcement personnel and allied soldiers.

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