Latvia showcases Host Nation Support during NATO exercise
Fire fighting services during a simulated emergency – One facet of Host Nation Support provided by Latvia during exercise Ramstein Dust-II 17. Photo by Kevin Lemée
OCT 5, 2017
LIELVARDE, Latvia – At the end of NATO’s deployment exercise Ramstein Dust-II 2017 to Lievarde, Latvia, it is time to look at the support provided by Host Nation Latvia.
The exercise director, German Air Force Colonel Klaus Nolte, commended the support the Latvian Air Force provided to his team: “We really appreciate the tremendous assistance we received over the last four weeks. The Latvian colleagues took good care of us so we could focus on our mission. They were key to a most successful exercise demonstrating Alliance cohesion and interoperability.”
“This base is perfectly positioned for our deployment exercise as it greatly facilitates integration into the Baltic Air Surveillance and Control Network,” added the Colonel, whose unit deployed here already in the fall of 2015. “Yet, our temporary relocation to here still needed a thorough planning process over at least 18 months with fine-tuning over the last six months,” he added.
Host Nation Support during Ramstein Dust-II 2017 was key to receiving the team of NATO’s deployable air surveillance and control unit at Lielvarde. Preparations started in May when the requirements were established and coordinated. The support Latvia provided to the exercise included basically all real-life services such as accommodation, dining facility, and medical assistance as well as technical support such as engineering, security, communications connectivity, cargo handling, customs coordination and transportation.
“It has been a pleasure working with and for the international team. Participation in Ramstein Dust-II 2017 provided extra training opportunities for our Fighter Controllers and Data Link Operators. The exercise also contributed to enhancing interoperability of different air surveillance systems to ensure joint air surveillance and control,” said Major Eriks Karklis, Deputy Commander of the Air Surveillance Squadron of the Latvian Air Force
At the end of September, the NATO specialists started tearing down their compound – again with Host Nation Latvia as a facilitator. After the departure of the exercise participants, Latvia’s Air Base will return to normal operations; however, Host Nation Support continues for the ongoing and future deployments of Allies to Lielvarde
L. J. De Rothschild