Defence Minister Andris Sprūds: Michigan National Guard will help Latvia develop rocket artillery, command and control, and drone capabilities

03/20/2024 - 20:12
International cooperation
Information prepared by
Media Relations Section

On Monday, 11 March, Defence Minister of Latvia Andris Sprūds visited the United States of America where he met with Michigan National Guard. Meeting with Michigan National Guard leadership focused on cooperation between both sides so far, and future plans. Minister Sprūds was given insight into the infrastructure of the Michigan National Guard base and on-going training process.

“Michigan National Guard has been indispensable to our National Armed Forces for more than 30 years. In recent years, this partnership has resulted in development of Lielvārde Air Base and training of Black Hawk pilots. Sides also plan to expand cooperation on rocket artillery, command and control, and drone capabilities in the coming years. Michigan National Guard will also help develop the Selonia Military Training Area,” Defence Minister said.

27 April 2023 marked the 30th anniversary of the signing of State Partnership Programme agreement, which paved the way for cooperation between Latvia and Michigan National Guard.

After restoration of Latvia’s national independence, programme primarily focused on development of Latvia’s National Armed Forces, especially the National Guard. In early stages of cooperation Michigan National Guard helped Latvia create the organisational structure of National Guard, It also helped develop training modules, brought National Guard troops to US for military training and took part in joint military training in Latvia.

Over the years, National Armed Forces and Michigan National Guard have jointly participated in international peace keeping operations, command, unit and instructor training, as well as international military exercise in Latvia and the US, such as Summer Shield, Saber Strike, Silver Arrow and Northern Strike.

Partnership and joint training with Michigan National Guard helped Latvia prepare for NATO membership in 2004. 

US has been Latvia’s strategic partner and ally for many years, playing a vital role in strengthening Latvia’s national security. Latvia and the United States are bound by shared values and understanding of democracy.

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