Saber Strike 17 kicks off in Latvia

The annual combined-joint exercise Saber Strike 17 kicked off with troops and vehicles coming ashore with tactical landing crafts from maritime prepositioning ships in the Baltic Sea to Ventspils, Latvia, May 23-24, 2017.

The exercise is held at various locations throughout the Baltic region and Poland and prepares allies and partners to respond more to regional crises and meet their own security needs by improving the security of borders and countering threats.

“We are interacting with our partners to reassure them that we will be here in a crisis or if something happens, because the United States is a strong ally of NATO,” said Maj. Jerry Aymond, the operations officer for Combat Logistics Regiment 45, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine Forces Reserve.

During the instream offloads, U.S. Marines and sailors came together with other partner nations to face the challenges of the complicated process of offloading equipment and vehicles such as tanks and bulldozers.

“The ability to do an instream offload means we can offload a significant amount of equipment anywhere around the world, without a port. Now we don’t have to wait for equipment to come from the continental United States to respond to a crisis,” said Aymond.

Forces from 26 nations, including the host nation Latvia, and over 11,000 service members are taking part in Saber Strike 17.

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