Between 22 November and 4 December, Allies with the Latvian Mechanized Infantry Brigade, NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Latvia and the U.S. 1 st Infantry Division conducted exercise Winter Shield. This annual military exercise served to upgrade Allied combat capabilities and interoperability, and demonstrate NATO’s ironclad commitment to the Baltic Sea region. Held in ?daži, exercise Winter Shield provided ready and postured, combat-credible forces through multinational training and security cooperation activities.
“This exercise in an outstanding opportunity for us to really demonstrate the interoperability we have; to be able to take Latvians, Americans, Czechs, Spanish and many others that all work together. The ability to rapidly surge combat-ready forces into and across the theater is critical to be able to project forces at a moment’s notice to support the Alliance,” the Canadian Army Lieutenant Colonel John Benson, Commander NATO eFP Battlegroup Latvia, stated.
Winter Shield highlighted capabilities of the joint forces. Soldiers had to remain flexible as they were integrated into different training exercises, including demolition, infantry, armored vehicles, mortar support, bridge laying and signal support. Through precise and coordinated planning, allied nations performed together like a well-oiled machine without hesitation. Latvia provided a great training environment and allowed for soldiers from countries with a warmer climate to step out of their comfort zones and get more experience in snowy, colder conditions.
Winter Shield 2021 concluded with a closing ceremony, where Latvian Land Forces Mechanized Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Sandris Gaugers delivered awards and recognized outstanding Soldiers for their performances during Winter Shield 2021. Latvia provided a great training environment and allowed for soldiers from countries with a warmer climate to step out of their comfort zones and get more experience in snowy, colder conditions. The exercise began Nov. 22, 2021 and concluded on Dec. 5, 2021.