Spanish air defense system deployed in Latvia

In response to the need to strengthen the defense capabilities of the Baltic region after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a Spanish-supplied ground-to-air NASAMS (Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System) anti-aircraft missile battery has deployed at the National Air Force Base in Lielvarde, the LETA news agency reported June 26, citing the Ministry of Defense.

Minister of Defense Artis Pabriks said the deployment of modern air defense systems in Latvia, thanks to the determination of the Spanish government, is a clear confirmation that Latvia's defense and security are in the interests of the entire NATO alliance, he emphasized.

Along with the anti-aircraft missile battery, 85 soldiers of the Spanish Armed Forces have also arrived in Latvia, joining about 500 Spanish soldiers already in the Baltics.

More information about the capabilities of the NASAMS system is available here

In a parallel devlopment, Canada has now deployed two warships to the Baltic Sea, in another attempt to reinforce NATO's eastern flank.

On June 26, the ships, named HMCS Kingston and HMCS Summerside, departed for a four month deployment in the Baltic Sea and North Atlantic region on Operation REASSURANCE.

"Canada is deploying two Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels to contribute to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe," said the Canadian government.

Between July and October 2022, Kingston and Summerside will join Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One. The ships will participate in NATO’s high readiness continuous at sea presence, which can quickly and effectively respond in support of any NATO operations.

Other vessels, HMCS Halifax and Montreal  are currently on station as part of Operation REASSURANCE, and will return to Canada in July.

“I am very proud of our team, our shipmates in HMCS Kingston and members of the Fleet Diving Unit, deploying on Operation REASSURANCE. It is an honour to be part of Canada's commitment to working with NATO allies in the region as we operate in the European region. To our families, friends, loved ones and the greater defence community: thank you for your constant support!”  said Commander Jeffrey Anderson, Commanding Officer of HMCS Summerside.

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