NATO bringing Arcade firepower to Latvia

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NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) is to to stage its annual 'Arcade Fusion' (AF15) exercise, in Latvia during October and November, the Latvian Defense Ministry announced Monday.

The exercise will simulate a "humanitarian crisis" and evaluate whether or not the rapid reaction force really can react rapidly.

"For the first time this will be held in Latvia, and this is a great opportunity to place a headquarters and make it operate in another NATO member," said NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Commander Lieutenant General Tim Evans.

ARRC is headquartered near Gloucester in the United Kingdom, but in February Evans visited Latvia to look at the avilable facilities and begin planning the exercise.

"Our goal is to test HQ deployment capability, check the main new concepts that can be used to form a particular NATO rapid response unit, as well as to strengthen our partnership with allies, especially in the Baltic region," Evans said.

For the last two years, the Arcade Fusion event was staged in Cornwall, with the participation of several hundred troops from the Baltic states.

NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps is supposed to be a high-readiness force able to deploy and act far more swiftly than regular units.

Currently 16 nations participate in ARRC.

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