Saber Strike 2014
On June 9, there was a solemn opening ceremony of a military exercise "Saber Strike 2014" at Ādaži military camp, which this year coincides with the host-nation exercise "Baltic Host 2014" and naval exercise "BALTOPS 2014".
The opening ceremony was attended by the Minister of Defence Raymond Vējonis, the Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube, the Exercise Directors – Brigadier General Ainārs Ozoliņš and Major General Mark McQueen, and representatives from nine participating countries.
“It is my pleasure to welcome all of you here in Latvia. It is a great honor and responsibility to host exercise "Saber Strike". The exercise is a proof to an excellent regional cooperation with its allies. It is great endeavor to test and improve interoperability of our forces. The exercise is most important at the current security situation that has been fundamentally changed by the crise in Ukraine,” at the opening ceremony said the Minister of Defence Raymond Vējonis.
“The famous Latvian writer has said that the one who is going to last is the one who is willing to change,” and I believe that this quote perfectly describes what NATO and its allies should do for the nearest future. We need to adapt to this new normal situation that new military professionals are those who will be in the crossfire of these changes. This adaptation means strengthening the security of our region with a long term perspective. We see the need to keep the present level of enforcement as visible assurance measures form allies. We strongly appreciate your allied contribution and willingness to strengthen and boost training activities in the region. They provide important stabilizing effect.”
“Saber Strike” is an excellent exercise to develop a common understanding of multinational staff planning and procedures to improve interoperability among partners. Russia’s actions and policy towards Ukraine has changed the strategic environment which must be taken into account in defense planning and training efforts” said Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube. “I very much appreciate Denmark and Norway’s willingness to participate in this exercise and be able to move such impressive amount of troops. Also I want express my gratitude to Canadian representatives for their effort in today’s exercise. Ladies and gentlemen, let me use the opportunity to stress the importance of NATO’s and allies visibility in the Baltic region. And thank you all for contribution that you have already made in order to promote our home security. I believe that we have opened the fresh page in our joint cooperation efforts which will bring fruits and results in terms of our security and capability development.”
The Exercise Director from the USA Major General Mark McQueen thanked Latvia for organizing the exercise. “Strong bonds of partnerships forged throughout the execution of this exercise “Saber Strike”, have proved to be valuable to improving our interoperability as we move toward the post ISAF environment. In spite of the insurgency in the world, I am certain in one thing, that the United States of America to continue to stay in defense of freedom and maintain our commitment to our partners in the face of tyranny. Let we stay shoulder to shoulder, I have a personal honor to serve with you in defense of our nations,” Major General Mark McQueen stressed.
From June 9 – 20, 2014 in Baltic States, as well as in Germany takes place the United States European Command (EUCOM) led international military exercise “Saber Strike 2014”.