Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, banded together with Canadian Land Force task force from NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia to execute joint-force exercise Berserker Soaring on Apr. 15 in Lielvarde, Latvia. The enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group is one of four defensive, multinational NATO coalitions positioned in the Baltics to deter aggression and promote peace and security throughout the region.
“This training opportunity allowed us to integrate with the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group-Latvia by providing world-class aviation capabilities and expanding the scope and mobility of their ground operations; reassuring our NATO allies of our unwavering support and building the inter-operability between our militaries,” said Capt. Kevin Harris, Assistant Battalion Operations Officer, 3rd Battalion, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
“We were able to establish secure communication systems across the board between both forces, which demonstrates our ability of enhancing the relationship between our soldiers and our allies tactically,” said Lt. Col. Raymond Santiago battalion commander, 3rd Battalion, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. “This exercise has made NATO a more lethal force and we look forward to continuously working alongside our allies and European partners to enhance our capabilities and lethality.”
The Battalion’s aerial assets include UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters that can perform a full spectrum of aviation operations, everything from air assault insertions, medical evacuations, and heavy-lift transportations. Another primary objective for the exercise was establishing radio communications between each nation and ensuring they can communicate throughout the battlefield. The Battalion is presently deployed to Europe as part of U.S. Army Europe-Africa’s Atlantic Resolve.