• Distinguished visitors arrive at the airfield at Adazi military base for a briefing on the capabilities of various pieces of NATO equipment to include the Michigan National Guard based Shadow UAV.  The visitors are at Adazi for Saber Strike.

Saber Strike is a U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)-directed, U.S. European Command (USEUCOM)-scheduled, U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR)-led theater security cooperation exercise that will be conducted at locations throughout the Baltic, including the Riga and the Adazi training areas in Latvia. The exercise will consist of a host nation-supported command post exercise (CPX), a brigade-level CPX/computer assisted exercise (CAX), and a field training exercise (FTX) with a situational training exercise (STX) component. The exercise will feature the integration of U.S. close support with partner nation ground forces and a demonstration of air deployment of forces and equipment. Saber Strike 14 will be conducted June 9-20, 2014.

    The distinguished visitors arrive

    Distinguished visitors arrive at the airfield at Adazi military base for a briefing on the capabilities of various pieces of NATO equipment to include the Michigan National Guard based Shadow UAV. The visitors are at Adazi for Saber Strike. Saber...

  • Michigan Army National Guard Sgt. Jeffery Smith of B Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Military Intelligence Company (MICO) Shadow Unmanned Aircraft Systems platoon is briefed on the capabilities of  the RBS-70 anti-aircraft missile system by Latvian Army Cpl. Jamis Hmelevskis during a static equipment display event during Exercise Saber Strike 14 at Adazi, Latvia on June 12, 2014.

Saber Strike is a U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)-directed, U.S. European Command (USEUCOM)-scheduled, U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR)-led theater security cooperation exercise that will be conducted at locations throughout the Baltic, including the Riga and the Adazi training areas in Latvia. The exercise will consist of a host nation-supported command post exercise (CPX), a brigade-level CPX/computer assisted exercise (CAX), and a field training exercise (FTX) with a situational training exercise (STX) component. The exercise will feature the integration of U.S. close support with partner nation ground forces and a demonstration of air deployment of forces and equipment. Saber Strike 14 will be conducted June 9-20, 2014

    Latvian RBS-70 Anti-aircraft missile system

    Michigan Army National Guard Sgt. Jeffery Smith of B Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Military Intelligence Company (MICO) Shadow Unmanned Aircraft Systems platoon is briefed on the capabilities of the...

  • (R to L) Finnish Army Cpl. Joel Norrgard, Cpl. Jere Karho and Cpl. Aleksi Alanko display infantry equipment and an XA-360 Armored Modular Vehicle during a static equipment display event during Exercise Saber Strike 14 at Adazi, Latvia on June 12, 2014.

Saber Strike is a U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)-directed, U.S. European Command (USEUCOM)-scheduled, U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR)-led theater security cooperation exercise that will be conducted at locations throughout the Baltic, including the Riga and the Adazi training areas in Latvia. The exercise will consist of a host nation-supported command post exercise (CPX), a brigade-level CPX/computer assisted exercise (CAX), and a field training exercise (FTX) with a situational training exercise (STX) component. The exercise will feature the integration of U.S. close support with partner nation ground forces and a demonstration of air deployment of forces and equipment. Saber Strike 14 will be conducted June 9-20, 2014.

    Finnish XA-360 Armored Modular Vehicle

    (R to L) Finnish Army Cpl. Joel Norrgard, Cpl. Jere Karho and Cpl. Aleksi Alanko display infantry equipment and an XA-360 Armored Modular Vehicle during a static equipment display event during Exercise Saber Strike 14 at Adazi, Latvia on June 12...

  • The commander of the Michigan National Guard Shadow UAV unit discusses the video feed from the Shadow.

    Capt. Wurth shows UAV video feed

    The commander of the Michigan National Guard Shadow UAV unit discusses the video feed from the Shadow.

  • Sgt. Jonathan Gray, who flies the Shadow UAV for the Michigan National Guard unit, explains the mission and capabilities of the aircraft to Soldiers from the Latvian military at Adazi military base July 12, 2014.

    Here is the Shadow

    Sgt. Jonathan Gray, who flies the Shadow UAV for the Michigan National Guard unit, explains the mission and capabilities of the aircraft to Soldiers from the Latvian military at Adazi military base July 12, 2014.

  • U.S. Ambassador Mark Pekala talks with Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jimmy Huck about the missions the Shadow platoon has flown in Latvia over the past two months while attending distinguished visitor day at Adazi military base on June 12, 2014.

    U.S. Ambassador discusses the Shadow

    U.S. Ambassador Mark Pekala talks with Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jimmy Huck about the missions the Shadow platoon has flown in Latvia over the past two months while attending distinguished visitor day at Adazi military base on June 12, 2014.

  • Capt. Mark Wurth, the commander of the Shadow UAV unit, explains the video feed from the aircraft to members of the Latvian military June 12, 2014.

    Commander talks about the Shadow

    Capt. Mark Wurth, the commander of the Shadow UAV unit, explains the video feed from the aircraft to members of the Latvian military June 12, 2014.

  • Two Soldiers from the army of Norway demonstrate the capabilities of their forces while attending distinguished visitors day at Adazi military base on June 12, 2014.

    Norwegian Soldiers

    Two Soldiers from the army of Norway demonstrate the capabilities of their forces while attending distinguished visitors day at Adazi military base on June 12, 2014.

ADAZI, Latvia -- The Michigan National Guard Shadow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle was one of the highlights of the Saber Strike distinguished visitor day at Adazi Military Base in Latvia on June 12, 2014.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations of Latvia, Estonia, Finland Great Britain, Lithuania, Norway and the United States put on static displays of their respective nation's equipment at Adazi, Latvia on June 12, 2014.

Sgt. Jonathan Gray who flies the UAV for the Camp Grayling Michigan based unit described to ambassadors, generals, Soldiers and Sailors how the Shadow aircraft can provide surveillance as well as relay capabilities for NATO forces.

Cpt. Mark Wurth, the commander of the UAV unit, provided a feed from the Shadow's camera allowing the attendees to understand what the pilots see as the aircraft observes an area. He explained to the audience the diversity of missions the Michigan National Guard unit has participated in since their arrival in early May. The UAV platoon has flown out of Lielvarde for the Namejs Exercise, Vainode for Flaming Sword and now Adazi for Saber Strike.

The NATO Soldiers are participating in Exercise Saber Strike 14, an annual security cooperation exercise that will be conducted at locations throughout the Baltic, including the Riga and the Adazi training areas in Latvia. The static displays give NATO senior officers, NATO Soldiers, diplomatic personnel and international media the opportunity to receive briefings and demonstrations on equipment being used in the exercise by participating NATO countries.

Latvian Army Cpl. Jamis Hmelevskis, an RBS-70 anti-aircraft missile crewman, briefed Michigan Army National Guard Shadow Unmanned Aircraft Systems platoon member Sgt. Jeffery Smith, on his weapons system. Smith said, " Hmelevskis told me the missile tracking unit can be guided to target using radar or by intercepting the radio transmissions that guide a cruise missile or unmanned aerial vehicle. I got to sit in the gunner's seat and manipulate some of the controls. The RBS-70 is well laid out and comfortable for the gunner to operate."

Finnish Army Cpl. Joel Norrgard gave a briefing on the capabilities of the XA-360 Armored Modular Vehicle. Norrgard said, "Many people attending the static display asked me about the handling characteristics and comfort level of the XA-360 AMV. Speaking as a driver, the suspension system gives a comfortable ride and our dismounted Soldiers have no complaints. The gunner has excellent protection because the weapons have remote control access and the gunner rides inside of the vehicle instead of in a gunner's hatch."

The static display concluded at lunchtime and the dignitaries were transported to training lanes for a meal in the field. The Soldiers who took part in the display recovered their equipment and resumed lanes training to prepare for the June 16-19, 2014 field training exercise phase of Saber Strike 14.

For additional information on Exercise Saber Strike 14, go to www.eur.army.mil

Page last updated Thu June 12th, 2014 at 00:00