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NATO Air Commander visits Latvia

RIGA/LIELVARDE, Latvia – The Commander of NATO’s Allied Air Command, General Tod D. Wolters, visited Latvia to meet with senior military officials and inspect his NATO staff conducting deployment exercise Ramstein Dust-II 2017 (RADT-II 17).

In the morning of September 14, General Wolters arrived at the Latvian Ministry of Defence for meetings with the Minister, Raimonds Bergmanis, the Commander of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Leonid Kalnins, and the Air Force Commander, Colonel Armands Saltups. Talks included topics such as the special advantages of flexible and responsive NATO air power as well as the identification and exploitation of possible Air contributions to enhance NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence deterrence and defence posture. 

Later in the day, General Wolters and Colonel Saltups travelled to Lielvarde Air Base to inspect elements of NATO’s Deployable Air Command and Control Centre presently conducting their exercise RADT-II 17 here. The exercise staff, led by the deployment commander, Colonel Klaus Nolte, presented their achievements in providing air surveillance and control for the NATO integrated air and missile defence systems via the Baltic air control network. 

Exercise Ramstein Dust II-17 in Latvia began on August to test the procedures for the deployment of a tactical air surveillance and control unit to a remote basis, establish operational capability and integrate it into the Latvian Air Defence System. Other tasks will be the provision of area air surveillance, production and dissemination of the recognised air picture and tactical control of air training missions. 

In early October, the approximately 100 military exercise participants from sixteen NATO nations will dismantle the camp and redeploy over 2,500 kms to their home garrison at Poggio Renatico, Italy. 

Story based on information provided by Latvian Ministry of Defence

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