A major military exercise kicked off in Latvia, with 10 NATO member countries participating. The war games involve 4,700 troops and 800 military vehicles. Russia sees NATO’s military build-up as a sign of aggression.
The Saber Strike ground forces exercise is being conducted for the fourth time this year and coincides with Baltic Host 2014 and Baltops 2014 naval drills.
Troops from the US, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway and the UK are taking part.
The two-week exercise is hosted by the three Baltic States, although some parts will be conducted in Germany.
For Latvia, where the opening ceremony was held, it’s the biggest NATO military drill since its accession to the alliance in 2004, the country’s defense ministry said Monday in a statement. The ceremony was crowned with a US strategic bomber B-52 flyover.
In total, Saber Strike will involve about 2,600 troops coming mainly from Denmark (1,100), Lithuania (900), about 200 soldiers from the US, 100 from Britain, 50 from Poland and several dozen each from Estonia and Finland. The exercise will include about 800 military vehicle units.
The UK’s HMS Montrose, a Type 23 frigate, will take part in the two-week long security exercise, the BBC reports.
The exercise comes amid high tension between NATO and Russia over the Ukrainian political crisis. The alliance ramped up its presence in Russia’s neighborhood, claiming that it is a response toward Moscow’s aggressive stance… see more