US troops settle in at airbase

More than 70 US troops and six UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters arrived at Lielvārde Airbase in central Latvia Thursday to take part in joint drills with the National Armed Forces (NBS) and support several international military training exercises, reports defense news portal Sargs.lv

The 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade’s ‘Brawler’ 4th Helicopter Battalion from Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia is here as part of the expansion and changing-of-the-guard of the Atlantic Resolve land force assurance training mission’s northern component.

The American men and women in uniform will be housed in the most comfortable accommodations the NBS could possibly prepare for their guests, as shown in the video posted by Sargs.lv.

As the NBS representative explains, the last eight months have been spent preparing the infrastructure and premises for the arrival of the troops, who will get to break in the brand new kitchen facilities and enjoy the wide and long bunk beds during their brief respites (including wi-fi access) from the otherwise grueling drills. The video features some brief interviews in English of the arriving helicopter pilots.

After their eight-month term of service the ‘Brawlers’ will rotate away, but the Lielvārde Airbase’s facilities will remain and and their services will be made available to civil, not just to military aviation.

The US soldiers will be taking part in drills and exercises, including Saber Strike 2015, a multi-national training exercise, scheduled to take place in the Baltic states in June.

Following the annexation of Crimea by Russia and Russia’s aggression in eastern Ukraine, the US launched Operation Atlantic Resolve to demonstrate its continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the Baltic states and Poland.

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