Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia concludes Exercise TOMAHAWK RAIDER

A military members jumps out of a helicopter that is close to the water
Members of the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia participate in helocasting with US Blackhawks during Exercise TOMAHAWK Raider in Ventspils, Latvia as part of Operation REASSURANCE on September 21, 2018. Photo: Corporal Dean Lynam, eFP BG ROTO 3 LATVIA Imagery RP18-2018-0072-017

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By Captain Patricia Brunelle, Public Affairs, enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia

From September 10th until 28th, 2018, various companies from the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group Latvia participated in Exercise TOMAHAWK RAIDER in Ventspils, Latvia. They were hosted by the Latvian 46th National Guard Battalion.

The goal of the exercise was to conduct amphibious training in the Baltic Sea. The training was supported by the Latvian Navy and the United States Army Task Force Comanche North Aviation Detachment.

The main highlight for participants was the opportunity to conduct helo-casting from aboard United States Army Black Hawk helicopters. Helo-casting is an airborne technique used by small units in which they are flown to a maritime insertion point where they jump into the water. In this case, it was the Baltic Sea.

“From a tactical perspective, our time in Ventspils allowed Duke’s Company to hone our close quarters shooting skills, improve our watermanship, and practice coordination with American Army Aviation,” said Major Aaron Corey, Officer Commanding of the Canadian Duke of Edinburgh’s Company. “It also provided an excellent opportunity for integration with the Spanish Sappers at the soldier level while we lived and trained together.”

In addition to helo-casting, members of the Battle Group conducted watermanship training and improved their skills on the shooting range. They also had the opportunity to host members of the local community at a vehicle and weapons display held at the Ventspils Open Air Sea Museum.

The eFP Battle Group Latvia is made up of military personnel from Albania, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. The Battle Group is integrated with the Latvian Mechanized Brigade Group and works hand-in-hand to protect the people of Latvia from any potential aggression.

Image gallery

  • Soldiers kneel on one knee and fire weapons
  • A military members jumps out of a helicopter that is close to the water
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